The Open Cannabis Project is building an archival record of all existing Cannabis strains, in order to ensure that they remain forever in the public domain, available to all, and cannot be restricted by commercialization or patenting.
The last few decades of cannabis breeding have been an unprecedented burst of horticultural creativity. No living plant species has as much richness and diversity as the Cannabis plant now does. Most of these cannabis varieties have been in the public domain for years. They have been widely circulated, and sold, and therefore cannot be patented. At present, plant patents and breeder’s rights are not available for cannabis in the US. But this also means that the federal government does not keep track of cannabis varieties. They cannot be patented, but there is also no legal proof that they exist. There is no documentation that today’s cannabis varieties are rightfully in the public domain. If the federal government changes course and begins to grant cannabis patents, then companies could rename existing strains, patent them as if they were new, and restrict their use. The OCP is building a database of genetic sequence data for every available cannabis strain. This data cannot be used to patent plant varieties – but it can be used to demonstrate that varieties are in the public domain and cannot be patented. In the future, any attempts to patent or restrict existing cannabis strains will be rendered impossible by this work.
Jennifer MartinJennifer Martin is a cultivation expert and consultant, and one of the earliest pioneers of the U.S. Cannabis cloning industry.
Board of Directors
Rick Doblin, PhDRick Doblin is the nation’s leading proponent of scientific research into the benefits of Cannabis, and the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients.
Jeremy Plumb is the Co-Founder of Oregon’s most respected medical Cannabis dispensary, Farma, and the Co-Founder of Farma Botanicals, Newcleus Nurseries, and Nucleus Labs. He serves on the board of the Cannabis Genetics Preservation Society and the OLCC Retail Marijuana Advisory Committee, and is the Cannabis industry’s most active advocate for both organic and science-based agriculture practices.
Mowgli Holmes, PhDMowgli Holmes is the Chief Scientific Officer of Phylos Bioscience, a biotechnology company studying the Cannabis genome. He is also a founding board member of the Cannabis Safety Institute, and Chair of the Oregon State Cannabis Research Task Force. He received his PhD from the Columbia University Department of Microbiology and Immunology, where he was a National Research Service Award Fellow.
Valerie CorralValerie Corral is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) which is the oldest continuously operating medical marijuana collective in the nation. WAMM was described as “the gold standard for medical marijuana” by a federal judge. Val is California’s leading medical marijuana patient advocate, and was deeply involved in the passage of Prop 215 which legalized medical marijuana use in the state.
Terry GrossTerry Gross is a First Amendment lawyer with many years of experience at the intersection of free speech issues and intellectual property law. He is the Chief Legal Advisor to Burning Man, and was the first General Counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Dale HuntDale Hunt is a patent attorney with a doctorate in Biology and extensive experience working with the USPTO and the US Plant Variety Protection Office on agricultural intellectual property issues.
Chris ConradChris Conrad is an author, a museum curator, a court-qualified Cannabis expert witness, and an international authority on cannabis, industrial hemp, and medical marijuana.
Tim GregoryTim Gregory is Chairman of the Advisory Board of Directors for the University of California Botanical Garden. He was one of the earliest scientists at Genentech, and recently retired as Senior Director of the Process Sciences Division there.
Nathaniel ButtrickNat Buttrick is an expert cultivator with over a decade of experience in the Cannabis industry from farm to dispensary, and is CEO of Madrone Collective, Inc.
Michael Fratis is a long-time Cannabis breeder and preservationist, and for many years was the field manager for Northrup King Seed Research Co. His work is focused on the study and preservation of rare landrace and heirloom varieties of Cannabis.