A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food.
Bacteria were the first organisms to be modified in the laboratory, due to their simple genetics. Genetically modified bacteria are used to produce the protein insulin to treat diabetes. They continue to be important model organisms for experiments in genetic engineering.
As medical marijuana becomes more popular, companies like Monsanto might see the plants as the next opportunity. Monsanto was among the first to genetically modify a plant cell. Monsanto was a pioneer in applying the biotechnology industry business model to agriculture.
Monsanto has announced their first foray into Marijuana agriculture. Monsanto CEO Tom Stammers announced, ” What we have done for the American dinner table over the years by making bigger vegetables, we now plan to take worldwide!”. Promising ‘diversity and diversification’, Stammers also revealed plans to expand into the field of Marijuana agriculture. “We’re going to get into this in a big way like only Monsanto can.” Stammers announced plans to launch a subsidiary company, named ‘Monsancho’ to specialize in fertilizers and growth hormones specifically targeted for Marijuana agriculture. ‘With Monsancho’s know-how and formidable brand recognition, we plan to corner and take over the market. Soon, highly productive marijuana ‘trees’ will be growing on factory farms all over the nation’s heartland. Flowers as large as a refrigerator will not only be entirely possible but industry standard, providing for the medical patient and the casual user alike.”
The fertilizers and hormone will only be sold in bulk amounts to large factory farms. Monsanto has considered smaller amounts for sale to the individual but Stammers remarked, “We didn’t think that would be such a good idea.”
When asked about any potential risks to consumers Stammers interrupted, “That’s neither here nor there. It is not Monsanto’s policy to look back. There’s no profit in that. Monsanto is only looking to fly high into the future.” In response to concerns over GMO’s Stammers responded, “GMO’s are everywhere. You had GMO’s for breakfast this morning and yet here you are standing before me asking provocative questions. I think that it is pretty obvious that GMO’s are absolutely safe.”
Is that which happened with the coffee/beer/wine industry going to happen to the marijuana one? Small artisan growers get a jump-start and make big profits for a few years before large corporations buy them out, create partial monopolies, and dominate the industry from that point forward. We hope not, maybe the main issue we’ll be eventually dealing with is not whether we should have access to medical marijuana at all, but whether we should have easier access to medical marijuana that’s organic and GMO-free.