Medicinal Genomics, out of Woburn, Mass., is doing far-out things with cannabis, and they have nothing to do with smoking it. The company, which brothers Brian, Kevin, and Brendan McKernan founded in 2011, is using DNA technology to create “fingerprints” for individual plants, providing information with a variety of applications to the cannabis community.

One of the ways in which DNA identification helps is that growers and consumers can more easily and accurately navigate the myriad strains and ensure that they’re properly named and consistent across regions. Genetic information can create an industry standard, so the Sour Diesel that you buy in Colorado is the same as the Sour Diesel you buy in other states, removing the cultivation guesswork and approximation that results from legislation now allowing growers to ship clones out of state.

“The main intent here is to bring some level of fidelity to the nomenclature system,” says Kevin McKernan, Medicinal Genomics’ Chief Scientific Officer. “There are great names out there, but some people are doubting if they’re real. That nomenclature system is hampering the industry. If we can help clean it up with genetic profiles, people will start to cherish certain strains and rely on the names so they can go find it in another state.”

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