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does the arctic global seed bank have cannabis seeds

Why did they take some seeds out? According to The Crop Trust, an affiliated seed bank in Syria couldn’t provide needed seeds to researchers in the Middle East because of the war in Syria. It’s kind of amazing that the Aleppo field station functioned through the war as long as it did. Now that it can’t, the mothership in the ice cliffs takes over.

Hemp (cannabis) seeds and leaves. Shutterstock

BOOKS: ‘The Cannabis Gardener,’ Penny Barthel

From a story on, written some time ago but worth a new look today:

As this 17-minute Svalbard mini-documentary puts it, the vault is “built to withstand an extreme future.” That extreme future, thank heavens, will include marijuana. Can you even imagine an extreme future without pot? Perish the thought. But not the pot.

Yesterday, in Wilson County, Tennessee, Spencer Alan Boston, 20, was in court on a marijuana possession charge. Facing the judge, Boston made a comment supporting marijuana legalization, pulled a joint from his pocket, lit it, and took a puff. From News Channel 5: “One of the craziest things I’ve seen,” says (Wilson County sheriff Robert)… READ THE REST

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When it comes to the top specific species in the vault, a mere 9 make up 2/3 of the seeds. The top 9 being:

Not surprisingly for a facility primarily designed as a backup for food and agriculture, the vast majority of the seeds in the vault – 444 million or 69% – are grains such as rice, millet, wheat, corn, barley, etc. Legumes such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, etc. are second at 9% or 58 million seeds. The remaining 22% contains a vast array of nearly 6000 different species of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other plants.

How seed deposits work

Our mission at Svalbarði is to help save the Arctic by combatting global warming. But global warming, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and mass extinction are all, in reality, interlinked problems. For example, one of the key projects Svalbarði has helped finance provides easier access to clean drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa via new and repaired borehole wells.

There have only been three withdrawals of seeds to date, all by ICARDA and all related to the civil war in Syria. The organization’s genebank in Tal Hadya, Syria was at constant threat of losing power due to the fighting raging in the region around Aleppo. Seeds need to be kept at -20°C despite summer temperatures that can go over +40°C. Rebels controlling the area allowed the facility to keep operating as the facility’s diesel power backup benefited them. But because of the constant threat of destruction, duplicate seeds in Svalbard were requested by the organization’s facilities elsewhere.

In terms of “bio-safety” (if we might call it that), it is a bit amusing to note that while GMOs are banned from the vault, over 100 thousand seeds from hallucinogenic plants are stored inside. These include opium (75 thousand), marijuana (19 thousand of cannabis sativa), jimsonweed/jamestown weed (13 thousand), and African rue (3 thousand).