Cannabis Breeder’s Rights: Open Source Genetics for Hemp and Marijuana

SEATTLE — LeBlanc CNE, Inc. released a licensing framework for cannabis breeders similar to an open source approach for digital content. Inspired by Creative Commons and DJ Short, the Cannabis Breeder’s Rights allow hemp and marijuana breeders to convey their wishes and intentions of the genetics they release. [ ]

The Cannabis Breeder’s Rights has been published on [ ] Included is a spreadsheet outlining the detailed descriptions of the 20 different licenses and a widget to help select the appropriate license.

“I don’t want to own my strains. I don’t want to patent it. But my biggest fear is that someone else will take my work and prevent me from working with it. And I see as the only solution to this is to make all of this public domain and open source,” DJ Short, Seattle Hempfest 2015.

Creative Commons licenses are used for music, photography, software and other creative works. They do not address the needs of hemp and marijuana breeders and growers, and there are no working models for open source genetics. The 20 different Cannabis Breeder’s Rights licenses cover standard commercial seed terms (no propagation, for sale, credit) to casual exchanges between fellow gardeners (no propagation restrictions, free, anonymous).

“We won The War on Drugs. One of the spoils of war is that we get to bring our sharing culture with us,” says Jerry Whiting, LeBlanc CNE founder and President. “People having been nurturing and sharing cannabis genetics for generations. We are guardians and custodians of this wonderful plant, not owners and hoarders driven by profits.”

Many who cultivate cannabis aren’t interested in patenting the genetics, even when it becomes legal to do so under federal law, but they do want flexible licensing terms. Those who seek patents, trademarks and other existing protections can still designate Cannabis Breeder’s Rights licenses as well.

Legalization is bringing both hemp and marijuana into the mainstream. However, since growing both has been illegal for so long the genetics have been developed in secret. Soon the normalization of cannabis will include everything from large scale agriculture to smaller artisan growers to home gardeners. Big money is at stake and not everyone believes genetics are private property.


LeBlanc CNE, Inc.
Founded by cannabis activist Jerry Whiting, LeBlanc CNE, Inc. specializes in cannabis genetics, software and biopharmaceuticals. LeBlanc CNE is a small, family-owned business dedicated to organic, whole plant based sustainable practices and values. Whiting speaks and teaches across the country, and is the lead developer of Althea, the cannabis software framework.