How Cultivars Are Named

Special Report - 2022 Breeding & Genetics Market Report | Research

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May 9, 2022

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Supplier Trust, Confidence and Cultivar Names

As noted elsewhere in this report, cultivators prioritize potency and yield, and when working with genetics suppliers, growers need breeders with reliable quality in these metrics and more. Three-fourths of study participants in the “Breeding & Genetics Market Report” noted that, within the past 12 months, some of their cultivars came from external suppliers. And 8% of research participants used suppliers for all their cultivars in the past year.

Of participants who source some genetics from external suppliers, on average, about one-third (35%) of cultivars in their operations came from outside suppliers in the past 12 months. But not all cultivation operations sourcing new varieties rest easy with their choices.

Confidence in outside breeder statements revolving around critical characteristics such as potency, yield, or aroma varied. Of participants who use a genetics supplier, 57% reported being either “moderately confident” (32%) or “highly confident” (25%) that these suppliers accurately state the potency, yield and aroma of new cultivars, while 9% remain “not confident” in that realm. More than two-thirds (69%) of participants who use a supplier reported they are moderately confident (41%) or highly confident (28%) that their suppliers are accurately stating the genotypes of new cultivars. But more than one in 10 (11%) said they are “not confident” in suppliers’ genotype claims.

Despite reservations, seven in 10 (69%) of growing operations participating in this research “use the name/identification information provided by the breeder/supplier” when naming their cultivars. Marketing props also figure big in cultivar names, as cultivators choose names that hint at cultivar lineage as well as phenotypes. One-third (33%) of study participants “use names more appealing to a wider audience.” The spate of trademark infringement cases influence naming considerations, too, as 31% of participants “use names that avoid trademark issues.”

Average percentage of cultivars from outside suppliers: 35%
Base: Those whose commercial cannabis operation is located in the U.S., a U.S. territory, or Canada and uses a genetics supplier: 110
Base: Those whose commercial cannabis operation is located in the U.S., a U.S. territory, or Canada and uses a genetics supplier: 110
Totals exceed 100% because participants could select all that apply; indicated at least one: 97%; no answer: 3%