Bringing accuracy and consistency to hemp

The mission of Hempgene is to classify, certify, and improve hemp.

Traits exhibited by your strain may make it unique,
but knowing the genetic make-up defines it.

By identifying the genetic make-up of your strains, the correlation of genomic regions with specific properties allows for targeted improvement, protection, and creation of strains.


Using Next-Generation Sequencing techniques Hempgene
produces “genetic fingerprints” (genotypes) of your hemp strains.

The Genetic Fingerprint

Contains ancestry information, such as the percentage of indica versus sativa and the underlying parental strains.

Identifies which version of a gene your strain contains over important genomic regions that control certain traits, such as  cannabinoid (CBD) content or seed size.

Assists seed suppliers/breeders and the agricultural producers seeking product certification based on irrefutable DNA evidence,

Supports the scientific legitimacy of the community by using an accurate and consistent method of product identification.


Empowered with this information you’ll have the ability to improve or certify your strain while supporting the legitimacy of the hemp community.


There are countless reasons for why you want to improve or certify a hemp strain.  Knowing the specific genes that give a strain its desirable properties opens a door to all possibilities.  Best of all the entire process is replicable, allowing you more control.

Strain Identification





To improve your strain, knowing its “fingerprint” or genetic map will get you there quickly, reliably, and with more accuracy.  We provide dependable and reproducible identification of strains, using irrefutable DNA evidence to clarify a complicated and sometimes random nomenclature for Cannabis strains.

Next-Generation Sequencing techniques are used to determine the identity, or genetic fingerprint, of your strain.  Using the fingerprint for analysis we’ll provide a unique identification number and a heredity report to help you understand:

  • the strain's parents,
  • the strain’s original geographic origins,
  • the strain’s stability (% inbred), and
  • the origin of specific genes influencing the traits below;
  • CBD synthase
  • THC synthase
  • Germination
  • Pest resistance
  • Nutrient use
  • Flowering time
  • Drought tolerance


With a genetic fingerprint and a heredity report in hand, most growers and breeders want to leverage all the information they can to improve their strain.  The “best” strains have specific combinations of certain genes that give them their superior qualities.  Next-Generation Sequencing techniques allow us to obtain and analyze vast amounts of information.  Using Marker- Assisted Breeding, we can breed for a specific combination of genes that can be identified as a seedling, a single plant out of hundreds, to rapidly accelerate your breeding program.

We can support your efforts with guidance for plant selection and plant improvement, taking full advantage of your strain’s fingerprint and/or certification for your benefit.  Guidance efforts can be tailor made and generally support the following:

  • Breeding for specific traits
  • Strain Stabilization


Assuring plant integrity and varietal purity, whether for agricultural producers, seed suppliers/breeders, or consumers, is an indispensable step in a commodity value chain.  With a genetic fingerprint that is unique to each plant, we can certify a plant, a strain, or an entire harvest, giving you the option to protect your superior strains based upon its unique identity.


Our services provide the guidance our customers require to produce stable strains that result in uniform plants and consistent results, a prerequisite for commercializing agricultural crops.


  • Yield
  • Height/Branching
  • Flower to leaf ratio
  • Lodging (falling over)
  • Lignin content
  • Seed size

How it Works

DNA Collection

DNA Analysis

DNA Results

Customer Confidentiality

Customer Confidentially is essential to providing peace of mind and developing long-term
relationships with our customers.  Your protection is our top priority.

Hempgene is fully aware of the legal challenges that individuals and companies in the hemp production industry face at the federal level. All customers will be provided with non-disclosure agreements from Hempgene to protect their identity and proprietary hemp strains. Click for more information.



     Hempgene will take the following measures to protect client information:


    All customers will be provided with a client number or ID. This ID will be used
    exclusively to identify the customer after initial contact.

    The actual client names and contact information will be kept on an off-line database giving only Hempgene the ability to cross-reference client ID and customer information.

    All strain information and genetic analyses will be accessible online via the Hempgene
    website and can be accessed by clients using their client ID and password.


    In the event that the client would prefer to be recognized for their unique strain
    of hemp, Hempgene will only provide identifiable information at the client's request.  Please note that Hempgene will only work with entities operating within the legal guidelines of their respective states.

We will make DNA at your site and collect phenotypic information for each plant and/or strain, such as flowering time, plant height, leaf shape, etc. to identify the genes which influence these traits. Only DNA will be removed or transported from your site.

We use Next-Generation Sequencing techniques to determine the genetic identity of your strain. The result is a genetic fingerprint, UNIQUE to each PLANT.  We’ll assemble a heredity report, which includes a chromosome map, and assign your strain/plant a unique identification number.


We assist clients in interpreting the heredity report and fingerprint results. This includes to what extent your strain is homozygous/inbred, which of those genes confer specific wanted and unwanted properties, and how and what genes can be combined in new ways.


Hempgene advocates for responsible use, using science to understand not only the genetic make-up of the hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa L (<1% THC), but to understand how the plant can be used for societies benefit SAFELY.  It appears that many states governmental bodies do too.  Of the 19 states that have laws supporting either hemp studies and/or production, 8 of them have laws supporting the growth of the hemp industry through promotion and production of industrial hemp as a legal agricultural crop.


Hemp, as classified by state and international standards, is not psychoactive yet current federal regulation confuses this point due to its inclusion as a Schedule I narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

It is critical that this issue be enlightened by science and underscore how best society can be benefited by a plant with many, many uses.  Ultimately the use of hemp for any purpose should be informed at the genetic level, just as many plants in our society are understood, in order to guide level headed, fact-based discourse in the interest of the public.We stand behind that by choosing to contribute a minimum of 2% of gross profit to select causes and efforts.


We encourage all people, supporters and detractors alike, to educate themselves on the current issues at hand in order to ask questions.  We cannot provide all the knowledge necessary to get you there, but there are a few resources we'd suggest getting familiar with to get started.


Hempgene will provide genomic information to the CGRI (Cannabis Genome Research Institute) to aid in:

Strains that are NOT the result of recent hybridization (landraces/heirloom strains) are particularly useful for accomplishing these goals. Our customers will not only receive detailed genetic information about their strains, but will also contribute to the development of Cannabis as a legitimate crop by contributing to a scientific study of cannabis by providing the basis for facts and correspondingly dispelling myths.


Strains deemed appropriate will be sequenced at the whole genome level and will be included in scientific publications in top rated journals.


Hempgene will collect phenotypic information, such as flowering time, cannabinoid profiles, plant height, leaf shape, etc. to identify the genes which influence these traits. This information is imperative to establishing the legitimacy of Cannabis and for breeding strains with specific and superior properties.



  • Generating an ultra-high density genetic map of Cannabis,
  • Identifying the history, phylogeny and phylogeography of Cannabis,
  • The discovery of the hybrid origins of modern Cannabis cultivars, and
  • The genetic basis of morphological differences between Cannabis strains.

The Team

CJ Schwartz

CEO and Founder


CJ has a BS degree in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin.  For the last decade Dr. Schwartz’s research has focused on the genetic differences that control flowering time. During that time he discovered that expression of a gene called Flowering Locus T leads to differential flowering time of plants and is dependent on their native locations. These results have been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, and presented at conferences throughout the US.

Jason Schwartz

Chief Financial Officer and
SVP of Business Development


Jason has an MBA in Finance from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Finance, risk management, and project management professional with a background in the healthcare, financial markets, and technology industries.  Jason spent the last ten years at UnitedHealth Group in operational and strategic management roles.




Matt Gibbs

Chief Operating Officer and
SVP of Business Development


Matt has a BA in Finance from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Social Science from the University of Colorado – Denver.  He has spent the last 10 years working in the realm of strategic sustainability, specifically at the nexus of operationalizing triple bottom line goals.

Joel Strike

Chief Field Officer and
SVP of Marketing & Business Development


Joel has a BS in mortuary science from the University of Minnesota and studied genetics as an undergraduate. For the last two decades he has worked intimately with master growers and breeders from around the country, acquiring knowledge of a wide variety of techniques and plant characteristics.

Contact Us

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PO Box 2372  |  Fort Collins, CO 80522

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