No more seeds to sow? By Psy-23

Countless strains have ushered forth from their hallowed halls over the years, winning them fans the world over for their trusted genetics and consistent results.

Frequently praised for their outstanding feminized and autoflowering seeds, these seedbanks have become synonymous with high quality seeds at fair prices and this has led to them being recognized as some of the best in the game.Incredibly, everything came to an unexpected and catastrophic dead-end in mid-September and there’s still no sign of a solution almost two months

Weed World were contacted just after our last issue went to print by representatives of Pot Sistemak S.L., a global company who specialize in the sale and distribution of seeds, grains and other agriculture related products, who are the parent company of Dinafem, Humboldt and various other companies. In the press release they issued, they outlined that as of September 16th of 2020 they have found themselves under judicial investigation by the Spanish authorities. At the time of writing, the exact details of the investigation are still relatively opaque but the main focus seems to be the prevention of any future sale of cannabis seeds to any retailers and providers. While the investigation is ongoing all of the company’s finances have been frozen.

The impact of this on the community obviously has the potential to be huge as there will be no avenue for stores and retailers to resupply once their stocks are diminished. Furthermore, almost all of the nearly 100-strong team have been temporarily suspended from their roles at Pot Sistemak S.L. at a time when the global economy and jobs market is taking a huge hit from the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they have also been forced to suspend all laboratory testing and research into cannabis, including their work with the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) where they were working with esteemed colleagues across multiple specialist fields. This means a significant delay for future progress in their various research fields, which is a bitter pill to swallow for all of us.

Legal teams are working night and day in an effort to unpick all of the various points of this judicial intervention. To the best of our knowledge, there have been multiple arrests made in relation to this investigation and the authorities have seized somewhere in the region of 20 million seeds along with freezing funds and assets associated with those at Pot Sistemak S.L.. In spite of the fact that the sale of seeds is not classed as illegal under the provisions of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the entire case seems to be built around demonizing those involved in the sale of seeds.

The range of accusations is staggering and some of those accused now find themselves facing charges of crimes against public health, money laundering, electricity fraud and running a criminal organization. The police also seized more than two thousand seedlings from producers who are accused of ‘supplying’ the criminal organization.

As you would expect, this has been a crushing blow for all of the individuals involved and it has been a traumatizing experience for them to suddenly find themselves targeted by the authorities after more than 21 years of operating with full transparency. Many other companies have expressed their concerns that this action may just be the tip of the iceberg and it begs the question of what comes next in this assault on the industry.

When you consider the ever-expanding and increasing level of revenue and taxation which is pouring into and out of the cannabis market, it’s surprising to see this kind of action taking place. By their own admission, Pot Sistemak S.L. has put more than 2 million Euros back into the country through taxation last year alone and as their efforts continue to expand they were projected to be even more significant contributors in the coming years.Unsurprisingly, this blatant attack on some of the foremost seed banks in the world has sent shockwaves through the entire industry. Many others in the industry recognize Dinafem’s stellar work and ethics and see this attack as an assault on the whole of the Spanish cannabis industry.

The big question now is what happens next? Is this ‘big fish’ going to be the first of many or a ‘trophy kill’ to display for years to come? Are smaller suppliers, seed banks and retailers going to find themselves squirming under the microscope in the near future and, if so, what’s the endgame of all this? Some people hypothesize that this is all part of a much bigger chess game which will lead to ‘apparent legalization’ under incredibly restrictive government control.

If this is the case then there’s no real way of knowing what this means for the future of seed banks as we know them and the wider implications for the global community could be far-reaching. Reports indicate that there are already some tentative steps towards an industry which ignores those who have built it from the ground-up in favor of new companies with close ties to the government.

Some of these include companies involved in phytopharmaceuticals who have already managed to secure contracts that allow them to export cannabis-derived products to other countries. With this in mind, it’s outrageous to see well-established companies being put under excessive scrutiny.

At the time of writing, accessing the official websites for Dinafem leads users to be greeted by a banner explaining that all sales are frozen and nothing can be purchased. Only time will tell how long this saga continues.

Whatever happens, it’s certainly a worrying time for all involved and our thoughts and best wishes go out to all those affected by this terrible news. We’ll keep you posted as we know more.

Written and Published By Psy-23 In Weed World Magazine Issue 149

Image: Adobe Stock, Isabella Mendes

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