Hemp (Cannabis sp.) Breeding & Seed Production

Hemp (Cannabis sp.) Breeding & Seed Production


Hemp (Cannabis sp.) Breeding & Seed Production is a 1.5-day course designed to enhance the knowledge of professionals working on hemp improvement and propagation. The course covers hemp seed production topics such as flowering, pollination, seed development, harvesting, and certification. Course participants will also learn about hemp genomics, genetics, sex expression, types of cultivars with corresponding breeding schemes, and intellectual property protection options. The course will be delivered in an interactive format with lectures and discussions. The instructors include experts from the public and private sectors.

Currently postponed until 2024*

In-person at UC Davis
Course is 1.5 days
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Pacific time zone)

8:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Pacific time zone)

Early Registration Price: $1250
Regular Registration Price: $1395


Available Discounts:
25% off - Faculty (from regular registration)
50% off -  Current Grad students/Postdocs (from regular registration)
Contact us for more information about your discount.

Hotel accomodation recommendations:
(be sure to click the links below as the discount has been built into the URL)
Hyatt Place 
Aggie Inn

UC Davis International Center
463 California Ave
Davis, CA 95616

Campus Parking information


Course Curriculum:

• Hemp reproductive biology
• Genetics and genomics
  • Genetic diversity 
  • Chemotypes, Chemistry
• Types of cultivars and breeding schemes
• Biology and physiology of seed development
• Seed production flowering, pollination, seed development, harvesting
• Seed Certification
• Intellectual property protection


This course is taught by experts from both industry and academia.
This is a great chance to interact with experts in the field!

List of Lecturers

  • Kent Bradford, UC Davis
  • Charlie Brummer, UC Davis
  • Rale Gjuric, Farmers Business Network
  • Chris Holly, Cooley LLP
  • Daniel Knauss, Cooley LLP
  • Alex Mkandawire, UC Davis
  • Zamir Punja, Simon Fraser University
  • Nicholas Stromberg, Beacon Hemp
  • Austin Sheppe, LGC Group
  • Bear Reel, B. Reel Consulting LLC
  • Michael Safina, Kayagene


Kent J. Bradford, Professor, Department of Plant Sciences and the founding Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. His research is focused on the development, maintenance, and expression of seed quality; plant water relations; developmental and growth regulation. He teaches university and extension courses on plant physiology, seed biology, biotechnology, ethics and philosophy of science. Kent received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Horticulture from Michigan State University and received his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from UC Davis in 1981.


Charlie Brummer, Director, UC Davis Plant Breeding Center and Professor, Department of Plant Science. His research program focuses on developing cultivars and germplasm of alfalfa, spinach, and hemp. His research has focused primarily on investigating ways to improve yield and quality using traditional breeding and molecular markers. His current research projects include improving yield through the use of high density, genome-wide SNP markers to implement genomic selection.



Rale Gjuric, Head of Canada Seed R&D with Farmer’s Business Network.  Previously, Founder and President of HAPLOTECH Inc.; Director of Education, Seed Biotechnology Center, and UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy; Breeding Manager of DL Seeds; Research and Managing Director of DSV Canada. Experienced Seed R&D Manager with focus on the seed supply chain; educator in the areas of Plant Breeding and Seed Production.  An accomplished plant breeder who released numerous canola cultivars, recently led a team that released the first high CBD industrial hemp hybrid and the first grain hemp hybrid in Canada.  Current focus is on canola, hemp, and corn product development for the Canadian market. Dr. Gjuric received his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, Canada.


Chris Holly is a partner at Cooley LLP and helps lead the Agricultural Science patent group, where his practice focuses upon helping clients in the synthetic biology, agriculture, microbiology, biotechnology, and food industries create and leverage robust IP portfolios. Chris has vast experience in helping disruptive startup companies in these sectors carve out valuable IP space, monetize such, and position themselves for acquisition, IPO, or successful commercial launch. Chris obtained a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Mississippi State University with research funded by the USDA and focused upon microbial and plant community dynamics in agricultural systems.


Daniel Knauss is a partner at Cooley LLP. His practice focuses on life sciences intellectual property litigation. He counsels clients regarding disputes in a wide variety of technologies areas, including cancer medicines, antiviral therapeutics, biofuels, agriculture, and medical devices. He has been to trial in federal courts, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and the International Trade Commission.



Alexander Mkandawire did his undergraduate studies in Agricultural Science at University of Malawi in southern Africa and then pursued graduate programs at Iowa State University (M.S. Agronomy: Crop Production and Physiology) and Michigan State University (Ph.D. Crop and Soil Science) in the 1980’s. Hespent 12 years as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Crop Science at University of Malawi. He came back to the U.S. in 1999 as a Research Scholar in Plant Pathology Department at UC Davis where he was for 5 years. During that time,he studied the Genetic Diversity of Xathomonas campestrispv. phaseoli(Xcp/Xcpf) the pathogen that causes Common Bacterial Blight (CBB) disease on Common Beans using molecular techniques. He then worked briefly as a Researcher at Syngenta Seeds in WoodlandCAwhere he determined rates of infection of Watermelon seed lots by Bacterial Fruit Blotch (Acidovorax citrulli) under grow-out situation using Real-time PCR. He has been with California Crop Improvement Association (CCIA) located at the UC Davis campus for the past 14 years with major responsibilities for conducting field inspections oncertified seed fields ofsunflower, alfalfaandcotton in the past and now small acre crops, the group Hemp belongs to. He is also responsible for conducting Seed Sampler Training Workshops across the state with the Association of American Seed Control Officials’ (AASCO’s) oversight.


Zamir Punja completed a BSc degree in Plant Sciences at the University of BC, and MSc and PhD degrees in plant pathology from the University of California, Davis. He joined Campbell Soup Company and worked jointly with North Carolina State University, Raleigh on carrot diseases. He was Manager of plant biotechnology for Campbell’s until 1989, when he left to join Simon Fraser University in Canada. Zamir’s research investigates the causes and management of plant diseases on vegetable and horticultural crops, and cannabis, and include the applications of plant biotechnology for disease management. His previous work with greenhouse vegetables, ginseng, blueberry and wasabi have led to many research publications. His lab is currently developing methods for identifying and managing new and emerging diseases of cannabis. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Phytopathological Society and the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards. These include the Sterling Prize for Controversy for his work on genetically modified foods and the Synergy Award for university-industry collaborations.



Nicholas Stromberg, Cannabis plant breeder and horticulturalist from Northern California, attended UC Davis receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Horticulture and a Master’s degree in Horticulture and Agronomy. He has been growing Cannabis since 2006  and  breeding high CBD chemovars since 2012 under California’s Proposition 215. In 2016 Stromberg began growing, selecting, and breeding at acreage scale under Oregonian hemp regulations. In 2019 Stromberg founded Beacon Hemp, an industrial hemp breeding and seed production company specializing in feminized seed, high and rare cannabinoids, day-neutral, and co-product cultivars. In addition to his work in industrial hemp, Stromberg also has worked as a collaborator with Steep Hill Labs in genomic  analyses  method  development and  as Director of Horticulture for several medical and recreational Cannabis companies, including CannaCraft and its affiliates.


instructor photo Michael Safina

Michael Safina, Senior Scientist and Breeding Lead with Kayagene, LLC. Previously, Senior Scientist for Duda Farm Fresh Foods; Advanced Placement Science Educator and First Robotics Advisor for Arroyo Grande High School. Experienced laboratory manager and plant breeder with focus on chromatography and mass spectrometry, molecular biology, and pathology. He received his BSc degree in biological sciences from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, as well as his teaching credential. He received his MSc in biological sciences, with certification in emerging infectious diseases, from the University of Saint Joseph. He is a Ph.D. candidate in data science at Northcentral University and a certified plant breeder from UC Davis’ Plant Breeding Academy program. He is a patron of the arts and occasionally performs in live theater. His wife’s band, The Transducers, is the best band on the planet and their EP is available to listen to today (Travelers on Night Roads).

Questions? Contact Jeffrey Robinson at jerobinson@ucdavis.edu