This company filed the first cannabis DNA patent—and nobody knows who they are

Biotech Institute lists no executive officers and has no corporate home office. So... WTF is it? (Gillian Levine for Leafly)

The world first learned about Biotech Institute LLC two years ago in an explosive GQ feature by Amanda Chicago Lewis called “The Great Pot Monopoly Mystery.” In the story’s opening scene, Lewis describes getting approached at a cannabis industry event by “a faun-like 40-something man named after a character from The Jungle Book.”

That was, of course, Phylos Bioscience founder Mowgli Holmes, whose own controversial business practices were profiled in part one of this series.

Holmes warned Lewis that a mysterious company had begun registering patents on cannabis “so strict that almost everyone who comes in contact with the plant could be hit with a licensing fee: growers and shops, of course, but also anyone looking to breed new varieties or conduct research.”

Biotech Institute’s patents, Holmes warned, could conceivably give the company global control over cannabis: “They could sue people for growing in their own backyards,” he warned. “And the craziest part is no one knows who’s behind this or when they plan to enforce what they have.”


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Photo: Gillian Levine for Leafly

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