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LeafWorks Launches Gender ID Test for Cannabis, Hemp

The test solves a pervasive problem among cannabis cultivators – male plants.

Leafworks 3

Based in Sebastopol, CA, LeafWorks is a female scientist-led plant genetics company that specializes in botanical identification for cannabis and hemp.

The company recently launched a proprietary Gender ID Test to solve a pervasive problem among cannabis cultivators – male plants.  

Rapid and 99.9 percent accurate screening and removal of male plants is critical in the cannabis industry as males lack the desirable buds sold at dispensaries and can ruin harvests with accidental pollination of neighboring females, which turns lucrative buds into seeds. 

The normal wait time to learn a cannabis plant’s gender can be more than five weeks after germination.  

According to LeafWorks, the company's DNA-based test for Gender ID turns five weeks into 14 days, which can save cultivators time, money, resources and labor, as well as eliminate human-error prevalent in traditional plant “sexing.” 

The DNA verification tools have a borderless reach. By only working with DNA, which is not subject to Schedule I restriction, LeafWorks is able to provide comprehensive DNA-based solutions for cannabis supply chain issues no matter where they occur. 

How it Works 

Cannabis plants come in two sexes - male and female, both determined by a XY and XX chromosomal system, respectively.  

The rapid identification of males in 14 days is integral to maintain efficient supply to the $12.1B US cannabis industry.  

By enabling seedling stage identification of the Y chromosome in cannabis males with 99.9 percent accuracy for quick male removal, the Gender ID Test saves at least 20 percent of operational costs per harvest. 

With the median annual operating cost of a grow at an estimated $330,000, this can save growers a range of $13,000 to $50,000 per harvest.  

Growers are able to optimize their cultivation spaces for maximum return by quickly replacing males with females before initial investment becomes substantial.

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