Tagging plants with DNA

Ever wonder whence came that danky, frosty nug that landed on your doorstep when your canna delivery service made its weekly drop? If New York-based Applied DNA Sciences has its way, you’ll be able find out exactly which farm it came from with the help of a simple lab test.

Applied DNA Sciences has developed a type of controversial plant-tracking program that has law enforcement groups and regulators licking their chops while growers and other cannabis industry operators watch with caution. As the industry moves forward into more widespread markets, the company argues, its CertainT technology could be a boon for both the industry and the organizations tasked with overseeing it.

“With rigorous tracking on top of everything else, [CertainT] will give dispensaries reassurance that the product went through extra testing and what they’re purchasing is aboveboard,” said John Shearman, executive director of marketing at Applied DNA Sciences. “We can see [CertainT] being a badge on the packaging of things, like a Good Housekeeping seal.”