DNA Genetics, a global cannabis breeding brand based in California, has spent the past year working with Copperstate Farms in Arizona, honing chemovars that will soon be introduced to the state’s medical patient base.
Rez Khan, DNA’s vice president of global corporate development, says that the company’s licensing platform allows his team to provide proprietary genetics in return for a royalty on future sales.
Copperstate Farms, which owns retail storefronts under the Sol Flower brand, fit the bill for what DNA seeks in prospective partners. Khan says that his team scouts other companies for their market penetration in a given state, conducting a business analysis on the management team and an operational analysis on the cultivation team and the facility itself. It’s part of a broad quality assurance and quality control protocol that DNA maintains in all partnerships.
“We want to make sure that we’re at least internally setting up SOPs that we can stand by for products that are going to hit the market, so they’re not grown with stuff that we would never [use to] grow in our own gardens,” Khan says.
DNA co-founders Don Morris and Aaron Yarkoni traveled to Snowflake, Ariz., with three of their top cultivation experts to work in Copperstate’s 40-acre greenhouse.
Morris and Yarkoni oversaw the genetics selection from seed. Rather than starting with clones, this process allowed the DNA and Copperstate teams to stretch out a bit and really hone the phenotypes that would be most optimal for the genetics they were working with.
“The more space and time you have to do a genetics selection, you get better results because of the sheer numbers,” Khan says.
They cultivated a minimum of 1,000 plants per cultivar, paying close attention to different expressions that would yield the most productive, enticing profiles for Copperstate. DNA cultivars in this partnership include: Holy Grail, Skywalker Kush, Recon Kush, Citradol, Lemon OG, Kosher Dawg, 4 Prophets, 24K Gold and Tangie.
“The plant comes first,” Khan says. “Ultimately, the biology of the plant determines so much. You can’t just keep everything on the same stringent timelines or processes and not build in a margin of error or variability to account for the plant. So, when we started to actually get our hands dirty, get our boots on the ground, that’s when the fun part begins.”
Copperstate Farms CEO Pankaj Talwar echoed the sentiment in a public statement. “We are excited to debut these world-class and award-winning strains from DNA Genetics. This has been a collaborative effort over 12 months’ time that involved starting with 12,000 seeds before narrowing this down to the exact genetics that deliver on the DNA brand as well as can function well in our greenhouse environment.”