Singapore looks to develop national strains of synthetic medical cannabis

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Singapore is investing millions of dollars in a medical cannabis research program that will explore treatments for a range of diseases, including those related to metabolism, reproduction and the age-related diseases Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Cannabis genetics would have to be imported, probably from Australia or Canada, to carry out the research.

It’s part of a 25 million Singapore dollar ($19 million) research initiative called the Synthetic Biology Research and Development Program that also involves four projects.

The research will focus on using synthetic biology “for the sustainable and proprietary production of national strains of medicinal cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant.”

“This will be done by translating selective genetic information provided by overseas partners into potent therapeutic compounds not found in nature through synthetic biology,” according to a news release from National Research Foundation Singapore, which is in charge of doling out the funding.


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Cannabis for recreational or medical purposes remains illegal in the country.

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