Preserving cannabis genetics for current & future generations

What it is that we want to do?

Protection of plants which are the carriers of a world-culture is the main objective for the Cannagenethics Foundation. People in communities who always have protected and sustained the plants deserve protection themselves. The protection of these people has not been realized so far, because of the prohibition-regime of the Single Convention of 1961. That’s why the Foundation is working on the protection of cultures with the preservation of cannabis genetics for it to remain available for current and future generations.

With the enforcement of the Convention on Biological Diversity, there is the ethical and actual obligation to also facilitate the culture and the preservation of the diversity of cannabis.

About the foundation & founders

The current legislation has not made it possible to provide documented genetic material of cannabis for medical, industrial, nutritional and other applications. Up un till now, no specialized genebank has been facilitated where cannabis seeds per variety, landrace or origin have been described on individual specifications or chemical components nor maintained and stored.

The foundation’s mission is to facilitate communities throughout the world to preserve their heritage and genetic resources under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in despite of the Single Convention of 1961 and excessive commercialisation in the era of regulation. Original stakeholders are generally excluded from growing and sharing of the equitable benefits of cannabis. The objective to facilitate a cannabis genebank in the Netherlands is to secure the preservation of the genetic resources that is a major part of their livelihood.

Guus Lieberwerth a specialist in inward processing of native plants for the Court of Eden Foundation and Hester Kooistra, a humanistic researcher, teamed up to watch the ratification of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity/Nagoya Protocol in the Dutch Senate in 2016 closely. With this ratification by the Dutch government, finally the initiative to facilitate a cannabis genebank gained a legal basis, thus the Foundation was officially registered in Amsterdam in February 2017. The answers to questions in the Dutch parliament during a regulatory bill proposal for cannabis (7-12-2016, p.24) officially confirmed that cannabis culture and genetics also are included under the obligations of the Convention of Biological Diversity.

The foundation aims at providing information on ingredients, plant-description, possibly also DNA-profiling, of cannabis cultivars and preserving cannabis varieties for people and communities throughout the world.

Due to the illicit status of growing cannabis, the Foundation will work in alignment with regulations of the access and benefit sharing of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and other international agreements despite of the Single Convention of 1961. With the Convention on Biological Diversity, there is a legal basis and responsibility also for the species cannabis to take necessary measurements for the preservation of the diversity of genetic material for its actual protection and cultivation for nature and humanity.

The Dutch government has not been able to provide a meaningful answer (6-6-2018 par 3.5.2) yet to parliamentary questions and concerns from Senators (09-07-2019 par 9) on the international obligations which result out of the ratification of the Convention in respect to the preservation of cannabis genetics for current and future generations. The scope of the diversity and contents of the genetics which will be grown during the tolerated dutch weed experiment is in fact unknown beforehand due to the lack of a cannabis genebank.