Marijuana plants for sale at the ShowGrow dispensary, a medical marijuana provider in downtown Los Angeles. AP Photo/Richard Vogel
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I had an interesting chat with Cronos Chairman Michael Gorenstein and Gingko Bioworks CEO Jason Kelly about their new cannabinoid partnership.
I’m far from a Ph.D. — and my knowledge of biosynthesis is scant-to-nonexistent — but what struck me about the partnership is that we could be moving into a world where we don’t need actual marijuana plants to produce the active compounds known as cannabinoids.
The partnership will first focus on synthesizing CBG, a rare cannabinoid that’s thought to have benefits for sleep and pain relief. Regular old marijuana plants produce CBG in low quantities, so if you are a consumer company — or a pharmaceutical giant — and you want to mass produce CBG, you need to find cheaper ways to do it.
That’s where brewer’s yeast comes in.
“You need to grow a big field of cannabis plants