Cannabis Seed Bank: The Evolution of the Cannabis Seed Industry
If it has not been very obvious in the past few years, the cannabis plant and seed industry have been one of the fastest rising markets in the entire world. This has led to an increase in not only cannabis plant growers but also of competition in the cannabis seed bank industry. As such, we can see more marijuana seed banks today than ever before. And the number will only grow even bigger.
Back in 2016, the legal marijuana market value was $7.06 billion. That value rose to $10.4 billion in 2018. By simply looking at those numbers, we can already come to the conclusion that the cannabis industry really is a booming market that probably is not slowing down any time soon. By 2019, it is believed that the industry will grow to about $16 billion due to the influx of investors.
The reason for this rapid growth in the cannabis industry can be primarily attributed to how more and more countries and states are now legalizing marijuana. Because of that, we see many users demanding or more high-quality strains. And, of course, some users have turned to growers that grow their own cannabis plants from seeds.
Indeed, marijuana is a fast-growing market as more and more people, investors, and entrepreneurs have been taking advantage of this rapid growth. But how did we get to this point?
Origins of cannabis
Asia has been the setting of many historical events. This includes cannabis as records show that it has been used by the ancient Chinese as early as 2700 BC during the time of Emperor Shen Nung. Back then, cannabis was mostly used as medicine and as industrial hemp for manufacturing ropes, clothes, and footwear.
It would then find its way to neighboring countries near the Hindu Kush mountains such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, where it really became popular. As trade between countries expanded, cannabis plants and seeds found their way further out to the west and in the African continent. And when Europe began trading with Asia and Africa, marijuana would find its way there.
When European countries began exploring further out in the west, some of the immigrants would also bring cannabis with them to be used for industrial purposes because hemp fiber was seen as an ideal, efficient, and affordable material for ropes, paper, and clothes. Back then, the cannabis seed industry was more industrial rather than recreational and medicinal.
Rise as a recreational and medicinal drug
Some of the earliest accounts of cannabis being used for purposes other than industrial can be traced to the 1200s where the Arabians and Persians were using cannabis seeds to grow marijuana plants that would be turned to hashish. Back then, cannabis was used as an edible as its seeds and its resin was mainly consumed to get its psychoactive effects. Smoking marijuana only became prominent some time during the 1500s when people began smoking tobacco.
During the end of the 1700s, records would show that Napoleon Bonaparte’s soldiers were smoking and consuming cannabis because alcoholic drinks were prohibited in Egypt. Several years later, more and more biologists and authors began to write about the psychoactive properties of marijuana as the cannabis seed industry began evolving into a market that revolved around the plant’s recreational and medicinal benefits.
Since then, cannabis seeds were mostly grown and cultivated for the marijuana plants’ buds and their psychoactive and medicinal qualities. It became much more prominent as a drug during the 1920s when countries and international bodies began to regulate it.
Then in 1971, the United Nations included cannabis as one of the substances in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This allowed the United States to pressure countries in the Middle East to close down their cannabis plant and seed industry. At this point, the cannabis population began to dwindle down as only fewer than a negligible number of people were producing it.
The re-emergence of the cannabis industry
During the 1970s, the cannabis seed industry found a new home as the Netherlands divided drugs into two categories: more-dangerous and less-dangerous. Marijuana was classified as a less-dangerous drug and possession of fewer than 30 grams of which was not even punishable.
While still technically illegal, marijuana use, possession, and cultivation were tolerated in the Netherlands. Thus, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam became the new Mecca of the cannabis seed industry. That is why most of the oldest and most popular seed banks we see in the world today have roots that can be traced back to the Netherlands and in several parts of Europe as well.
As technology improved and medical studies broadened, researchers began to study marijuana. Cannabis attracted attention as studies and researches showed positive results about its potential as a medicinal drug. It became a popular choice for treating those suffering from AIDS and cancer. This led to the state of California legalizing the use of medical cannabis. At that point in history, the marijuana seed industry began to grow again in the United States though only for medical purposes.
Though cannabis was still technically illegal in the US, it was in 1992 when the first marijuana dispensary was established in San Francisco, California. Then, a few years ago, Washington state began to liberally regulate marijuana use only for medicinal purposes.
Legalization and industry boom
Cannabis production and research only grew as more strains were being developed for the purpose of creating marijuana that is ideal for medical use. This led to the rise of many seed banks and dispensaries in the United States during the new millennium. However, most of those were mostly for medicinal purposes only as they still needed to comply with legislative laws that prohibited the use of marijuana recreationally.
Nevertheless, seed banks and even dispensaries still thrived all over the world with the help of digital technology. While marijuana may have been illegal in some countries, seed banks in states and regions where cannabis was legal, tolerated, or allowed were able to sell their products online and deliver them to customers all over the world in discreet packaging. In a way, the cannabis seed industry also learned how to rise together with digital technology as the internet really helped keep the market alive and thriving.
Then, during the latter part of the 2010s, several states in the US began to legalize marijuana use and sale for recreational purposes. While other states did it first, it was only when California decided to make it legal in 2016 when the boom started. The state of California issuing licenses to businesses who wanted to sell and cultivate these plants. According to Forbes, the worldwide legal spending for marijuana in 2017 rose to $9.2 billion.
In 2018, the entire country of Canada legalized marijuana to bring about a massive rise in cannabis use in the entire North American continent. This only served to make the cannabis seed industry even bigger as the legal cannabis expenditure in the entire world increased to about $15 billion.
With the large country of Canada and several densely populated states in the US leading the way, several analytical reports suggested that the cannabis seed industry will only grow even more rapidly than it had ever has before as more and more users and growers will begin to enter the market.
By 2027, it is expected that the worldwide legal spending in the cannabis seed industry will grow to about $47.3 billion especially with how we are seeing more seed banks, dispensaries, and sellers joining the fray in the hopes of earning a profit out of one of the world’s fastest growing markets. That said, the cannabis plant and seed industry is still very much on the rise and is not expected to slow down any sooner.