Cannabis producer Cronos Group Inc. is partnering with Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. in a $122 million deal to genetically engineer the active compounds in marijuana. Ginkgo, which counts Bayer AG, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. and Cargill Inc. among its partners, will work with Cronos to identify rare cannabinoids that appear in tiny quantities in the plant, extract the DNA and produce them in a lab. Cronos shares gained as much as 16 percent Tuesday in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
It’s like going into “a foot race with a Formula One race car,” Mike Gorenstein, chief executive officer of Toronto-based Cronos, said in a phone interview.
Boston-based Ginkgo, which has a 100,000-square-foot lab in the city, got its start creating scents for the fragrance industry. In a process similar to brewing beer, it takes the DNA code that makes a rose smell like a rose, for example, and transfers it into brewer’s yeast. [Read More @ Bloomberg]