Cannabis is gaining wider public acceptance, with medical marijuana use legalized in 30 states and recreational use legalized in nine (plus Washinton D.C.). As recreational and medicinal use increases, the need for more efficient production of highly pure products will rise — and more sustainable alternatives to large-scale plant growth will further support a green bioeconomy. Enter synthetic biology: companies are already developing approaches to produce cannabinoid molecules — especially those that are naturally present at low levels in the cannabis plant — through industrial fermentation. Learn how synthetic biology can bring cannabinoids to the next level through applications ranging from pain relief and treatment of seizures to appetite suppression — or therapeutic applications that we haven’t yet dreamed of.

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Cannabinoid Fermentation Report

This report examines how microbes can be used for the fermentation of cannabinoids, the advantages of biosynthesis over traditional plant extraction, and how biotechnology promises to provide industrial-scale solutions to this fast-growing market. READ MORE

Ginkgo Bioworks

Cronos Group and Ginkgo Bioworks Announce a Landmark Partnership to Produce Cultured Cannabinoids

“Engineering strains of yeast that can produce these cannabinoids via fermentation is a perfect fit for our organism design platform and we are excited to be working with Cronos Group as they lead the way to high-quality cannabinoid treatments,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. READ MORE


Intrexon Corporation and Surterra Wellness Partner in $100M Deal to Advance Commercial Scale Fermentation-based Cannabinoid Production

Designed to enable the production of cannabinoids that only are produced today in miniscule amounts in cannabis plants as well as novel cannabinoids, yeast fermentation of cannabinoids provides advantages over conventional plant-based extraction. READ MORE


Yeast produce low-cost, high-quality cannabinoids

UC Berkeley synthetic biologists have engineered brewer’s yeast to produce marijuana’s main ingredients—mind-altering THC and non-psychoactive CBD—as well as novel cannabinoids not found in the plant itself. READ MORE