Oregon hempseed breeder accused of stealing strain, selling it for $3.8 million

A hempseed breeder who developed a high-CBD variety is accused of wrongly selling the propietary strain to Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth for $3.8 million.

A lawsuit filed this week in Oregon accuses Paul Smith, CEO and chief genetics officer for the former company Your Custom Genetics Holdings LLC, of improperly taking low-THC hemp genetics from the failed company in Bend, Oregon, and selling a strain called Relief Now to Canopy for some $3.8 million nine months later through a new company called Go Farm Hemp.

The purchase price came out in a separate lawsuit Canopy filed against Go Farm Hemp, a New York grower who was to produce the strain.

The Canopy suit was later dropped, and Canopy is not accused of wrongdoing in the Oregon case.

Smith’s former business partner, W. John Short, says that he and his Arizona company Big Wuf Enterprises LLC should have received a share of the assets and deserve more than $5 million in damages.

Smith has not responded to the filing and could not be reached Wednesday by Hemp Industry Daily. Law 360 first reported the case.