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About the Open Cannabis Project category

This category is for the Open Cannabis Project and their members to discuss issues and topics regarding their association.

We have Beth Schechter with us representing their association! Feel free to @ tag @beth in your questions to alert her!

The Open Cannabis Project (OCP) is a community-led, research-driven non-profit with a simple mission: to defend the richness and diversity of cannabis from overreaching patents.

Decades of careful stewardship and breeding have made cannabis into one of the most varied, interesting and powerful plants in the world. The growing wave of legalization – and the intellectual property competition that comes with it – may have the unintended consequence of narrowing and restricting this diversity.

OCP is building a transparent and open source repository of cannabis data that will one day grow into an archival record of all existing cannabis varieties. This helps to ensure that they remain available to all, unrestricted by commercialization or patenting, free for anyone to grow and sell.

Our Values

Openness & Transparency.

We believe transparent and unrestricted sharing of information is key to protecting cannabis biodiversity. It is our duty to create an open dialogue and to oppose any approach that stifles collaboration or harms biodiversity.


We believe a culturally and economically diverse cannabis industry is crucial to ensuring that we unlock the full potential of this unique plant. Humans are NOT a monoculture, and neither is cannabis.


The courage and relentless curiosity of a unique group of people has helped shape our relationship with cannabis today, and we will fight for a legal framework that encourages this spirit of innovation.

Evidence-based practices.

It is necessary to take an informed, scientific approach to studying as many cannabis varieties as possible. We advocate for this approach among scientists, breeders, farmers, patients, and medical professionals.

Missing information + intellectual property law = a big problem for growers, breeders, and small cannabis businesses.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has started granting patents on cannabis varieties (not to mention countless cannabis products). The first of these are sweeping utility patents that restrict entire categories of cannabis, covering many plants that likely existed in the past and many thousands of potential future varieties.

Agricultural patents can spur innovation; but overly broad ones can block it. Such patents are bad for industry, the environment, for farmers, and for the future of crop plants themselves – corn, for example, has over 20,000 varieties of seeds registered in the United States, and yet the vast majority of the corn on the market comes from six genetic lines. Six.

This would be a disaster for cannabis and hemp. Help us keep this from happening to these plants…and to the cultivators who tend to them.

What we can do

The USPTO, and other patenting bodies internationally, can’t legally grant patents that would cover existing varieties – but there has to be proof that these varieties DO exist. We can block this process by providing this proof: documenting genetic and chemical data for all of the cannabis varieties in existence today.

As collective evidence of prior art , the OCP database and our curation of public cannabis documentation will help keep cannabis varieties where they belong: in the public domain, free for anyone to breed and grow.

See the data we’re curating and collecting >>

You can help!

We need volunteers, developers, growers, data scientists, lawyers, and laboratories to help us collect data and protect cannabis diversity. Want to help? Here’s how you can:

Send us your chemical and genetic lab reports. Right now we’re prototyping a lab report uploader and public domain declarations tool. If you’re interested in participating, please send your report to [email protected].

Sign up for our newsletter and stay in the loop about volunteer and design research opportunities.

Make a donation ! We are a tiny organization with a big goal. Every dollar helps us get there.

Have other thoughts or ideas? Get in touch.