Finding high-quality cannabis seeds in Europe is about to get easier. Franchise Global Health announced that its Danish subsidiary, Rangers Pharmaceutical, will be Europe’s first legal and registered seed bank in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to an April 28 press release.
The seed bank is home to one of the largest collections of its kind with 286 strains, including several world-class genetics and winners of 19 High Times Cannabis Cups. The company has a footprint all over the globe, including Germany, Canada, Colombia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Portugal, and Denmark.
While seed banks can be found in places such as the Netherlands and the U.K., this seed bank is licensed to store, sell, and export cannabis seeds globally under legal international trade frameworks, with permits to import and export. Rigorous adherence to good manufacturing practices (GMP) is part of the equation.
“In Europe, we abide by EU-GMP standards, which requires a rigorous approach to production of all medicines,” Franchise Global Health Executive Chairman and CEO Clifford Starke told High Times via email. “Medical cannabis is by definition a medicine and we are committed to adhering to these requirements so that patients can have the confidence that they are ingesting consistently high-quality product.”
New Frontier Data special contributor Oliver Bennett explained in an article why EU-GMP certification is critical in Europe—especially in the world of medical cannabis, in which quality control is of the utmost importance. Adhering to those good manufacturing practices is key to surviving in the regulated market.
Starke continued, “In our conversations with patients in Germany and other European countries, we became acutely aware that they are discerning and demanding, wanting quality control at all points of the journey, thereby making the procurement of high-quality genetics vital to our vertically integrated business model.”
According to the news release, Franchise Global will set aside its most distinguished strains for its own internal flower production for global markets. In 2021 it received a third-party audited valuation of C$9.5 million.
“Our goal is to become Europe’s most trusted source of high-quality EU-GMP cannabis. This will be achieved in part by establishing our seedbank as a source for high-quality, Cannabis-Cup winning genetics,” Starke said in the announcement. “Essentially this is 30 years worth of IP from landraces all around the world with strong genetic heritage including from Thailand, Colombia, and other highly sought after sources of origin.”
Franchise Global Health gained early mover advantage in Europe after securing licenses in Germany to import and distribute cannabis, with a 90,000 square foot EU-GMP-certified processing facility. In Germany, Franchise Global also operates a 500,000 square foot reserved cultivation capacity at an EU GMP certified facility in Ontario, Canada that has delivered to Germany, as well as a 30,000 square foot EU-GMP facility.
Last May, the Danish government permanently authorized licensed companies to produce and export medical cannabis, independent of an existing pilot program, Hemp Today reported. Many Canadian-based companies have their sights set on working with operations in the country.
Meanwhile, Germany imported a record number of medical cannabis in 2020, according to a study conducted by Prohibition Partners released last year. That trend continued to show a year-on-year rise in imports, according to additional data.
Seed banks typically sell viable seeds with a high rate of germination. Seeds are typically bred to increase the likelihood of female plants, which is needed for growing flower and producing THC.
In general, cannabis seed banks store autoflowering, feminized, and normal seeds. In 2016, former High Times cultivation editor Danny Danko provided a short explanation of the difference between those three types of cannabis seeds.
Check out the Franchise Global Health website to learn about the plan for the seed bank.