Colorado biotech firm hires UC Davis to research hemp

A Colorado agricultural biotech that specializes in marijuana is paying a major California agricultural research university at least $150,000 to study the hemp genome in an effort to reduce the need for using pesticides and fertilizers on the plant.

Lafayette-based Front Range Biosciences said in a news release it reached an agreement with the University of California, Davis, “to advance understanding of cannabis for medical and nutraceutical uses.”

The research will examine the hemp genome.

“Decoding its genome will allow us to gain new insight into the genetic bases of complex pathways of secondary metabolism in plants,” Dario Cantu, biologist in the college’s Department of Viticulture and Enology, said in the release.

Front Range Biosciences said it is giving the university $150,000 to begin research, with more payments planned. Full terms of the grant were not disclosed.