Trait Biosciences Announces Successful Stable Transformation of a Hemp Plant

This paves the path for the development of enhanced hemp and cannabis plants that are healthier, more robust and higher yielding.


LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO, June 12, 2019 / - PRESS RELEASE - Trait Biosciences Inc., a research laboratory in hemp and cannabis innovations, has announced that it has completed the first-ever successful stable genetic transformation of the cannabis sativa (hemp) plant.

The achievement was completed by Trait’s  team of more than 40 scientists and researchers, led by Dr. Richard Sayre, from its licensed facility in Los Alamos, N.M. While efforts have been made by other researchers and companies to metabolically engineer the cannabis sativa plant, Trait’s achievement is believed to represent the first time a hemp plant has been stably transformed and successfully grown roots and stems.

This scientific achievement paves the way for Trait Biosciences to begin its efforts to commercialize its Trait Amplified, Zero and Tailored technologies.

“Successful transformation of the hemp plant is a pivotal milestone for our company,” said Sayre, chief science officer of Trait. “For us, it is the foundation on which we will be able to develop strains of hemp and cannabis with novel traits, including our Trait Amplified technology. Plants grown with Amplified are expected to have more trichomes, have greater photosynthetic efficiency and are expected to generate cannabinoid yields two to five times higher than conventional plants for whole plant extracts, in addition to being able to produce water-soluble cannabinoids, which have far greater bioavailability and onset time than fat-soluble cannabinoids.”

The successful transformation was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction and gene sequencing of the gene of interest, with the frequency of the transformation event being 6.7 percent.

Peter McDonough, chief executive officer of Trait Biosciences, added, “This is a major development  for Trait and for all who use hemp and cannabis products. For patients who rely on cannabinoid therapies to improve their health, as well as those adult-use customers who use hemp and cannabis for recreational purposes, this means they will soon have access to products that will be more affordable, have better quality and deliver more predictable, repeatable experiences than anything that is on the market currently.”