Last week, WW wrote about a betrayal by Phylos Bioscience, a leader of Oregon's cannabis industry ("Paradise Lost," WW, May 22, 2019). Phylos is a startup that collected DNA samples from small farmers' plants to keep the data from being patented. In April, Phylos founder Mowgli Holmes announced his company was launching its own breeding program with money from venture-capital investors. Ma and pa farms say they were duped into giving Holmes a market advantage and a means to sell his company to Big Ag. Here's what readers have to say.
Beardgang650, via Reddit: "There's always snakes in the grass."
Vater ghost, via Twitter: "Capitalism at its height. I love it."
Fidelitypdx, via Reddit: "It's really up to everyone collectively deciding if they want to support big agricultural businesses by buying weed through a corporate-backed dispensary versus the guy down the street. This is true of all of our commodities."
IMissBBSs, via Reddit: "Welcome to capitalism."
Troy Haliwell, via wweek.com: "Anytime there is money to be made, you can bet the big-money folks and/or the promise of being a big-money person will always overwhelm a given market. To be truthful, how could they not look at the organic produce market, the tobacco market, and any other market and not expect something like this?"
Qutius, via Reddit: "It has always been cutthroat. No surprises here."
Maruk, via wweek.com: "The people in this business were incredibly naive to give up their hard work by giving DNA to this guy."
Sdf_cardinal, via Reddit: "I think there are just a bunch of naive people who think that this industry won't change. Sooner or later multinational corporations are getting involved, and they are going to be more profit driven (and worried about shareholders) than Holmes is. I don't begrudge him for looking for investors. And what he did is far from cutthroat."
Ken Ward, via Facebook: "It's a business now—filled with people who don't like or get business."
Beeradactyl, via Reddit: "A bunch of people who didn't read the fine print."