Medical Cannabis and Genetic Engineering
Background: Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism's genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest. Genetic engineering is currently used in biological and medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental medicine and agriculture.
Findings: Concerns raised about this technology and its products include product safety, bio-diversity, plant stability and environmental safety issues, as well as socioeconomic and ethical matters.
Position: While ASA fully supports improving cannabis varieties and traits through traditional breeding practices assisted with powerful modern scientific techniques, ASA condemns and will work to prevent any commercialization of medical cannabis that has been genetically engineered (meaning that DNA from non-cannabis plants, animals, bacteria or viruses has been incorporated in order to express foreign compounds not otherwise expressed naturally by cannabis plants).