Activists around the country are rallying against genetically modified foods. Meanwhile, states around the nation are preparing to legalize marijuana.
The day may soon come when large corporations, like Monsanto, will be developing genetically-modified forms of cannabis for sale on the legal market.
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Three weeks ago, Monsanto announced that it had patented the first genetically modified strain of marijuana.
The end result, if GMO cannabis comes into being, could be similar to the current food market.
Sales of genetically-engineered products could make up a large percentage of sales, while organically-grown marijuana could develop a devoted following among smokers.
By some measures, cannabis is now the nation’s largest cash crop.
The market for legal marijuana is larger than that for corn, wheat or sugar.
The amount of money to be made by ending prohibition against the plant is enormous. This is driving large corporations to begin looking at modifying the DNA of cannabis to increase profits.
Producing genetically modified products can increase yield or add resistance to pests for some crops. Cannabis is largely resistant to pests, and does not need pesticides or herbicides to grow. But, if large corporations distribute GMO marijuana, it will provide them the ability to patent and control the production of cannabis.
In the event of widespread distribution of GMO cannabis, a different legal problem will present itself. Will farmers be allowed to grow marijuana that is not genetically modified? Federal law requires some farmers to purchase “Round-Up Ready“ seeds from Mansanto every year.
One farmer recently received eight years in prison for saving seed from one year’s crop to plant the following spring, which lost a sale for the food manufacturer. Monsanto is already investing in research and development of GMO marijuana. Farmers may be able to grow marijuana in the next few years, but soon after that, they may be branded criminals for not growing GMO strains.
Some observers believe large pharmaceutical companies are already growing vast fields of GMO marijuana, preparing for the end of cannabis prohibition in the near future.
One has to wonder if the current debate on health effects of cannabis will soon change to a debate pitting GMO against organic varieties.
This news has far-reaching consequences for drugs policy, since cannabis is still an illegal substance.
Many believe Monsanto’s interest in the market must mean that full legalization of the drug for recreational purposes is on the horizon, but at what cost?
This Next News Network video from February last year accurately predicted that Monsanto would try to cash in on the cannabis industry, and asks: Would you smoke GMO pot, or would you prefer to smoke nature’s finest?