A Fort Collins startup specializing in studying hemp was recently awarded roughly $100,000 by a Denver-based group of investors.
New West Genetics plans to use the funds to hire additional staff and solve production challenges. The company creates strains of industrial hemp by combining the science used to study genetics with traditional agriculture breeding techniques, the Rockies Venture Club announced Tuesday.
Fort Collins Cannabis Investors Awarded $100,000
Former Poudre School District teacher Wendy Mosher founded New Genetics in 2014 with her husband, Colorado State University Professor John McKay, and his former student Rich Fletcher. They raised $400,000 from investors in June, according to BizWest.
“We consider ourselves more cannabis scientists, as we are learning about the genetics of the plant as a whole,” Mosher said in a statement. “Being able to study the genetics in hemp makes it a much easier sell to regulators.”
New West Genetics can control how much THC — the principal psychoactive chemical in cannabis — is in the plant. The company is working on limiting other cannabinoids in marijuana, to “open up regulators to the possibility of its applications without the high.”
With Colorado’s and now Canada’s large steps towards legalization it is expected that this market will continue to grow at a rapid pace, the Rockies Venture Club said in the release.
“New West Genetics in an exciting investment because it is in a market that is only starting to be realized,” Rockies Venture Club Executive Director Peter Adams said in a statement. “While genomics and breeding techniques have been used for decades in typical crops, the potentials for cannabis and more specifically industrial hemp are truly staggering.”
New West Genetics has already completed two successful harvests and plans to move outside during next growing season. The company is on track for seed release in 2017 after ensuring it has a mechanically harvestable crop.