The bacteria used to make tequila just got a new job: creating the molecules naturally produced by the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD.
Farmako, a biotech firm based in Frankfurt, Germany, filed an international patent for the genetically-modified microorganisms in February. The bacteria, Zymomonas mobilis, is one of the key ingredients for manufacturing tequila. In the tequila-making process, the bacteria convert glucose — or sugar — into booze.
Farmako’s weedy version of the bug, which it dubbed Zymomonas cannabinoidis, turns sugar into THC. Or CBD. Or any of the 100+ cannabinoids found in cannabis.
“With one production run, we can produce cannabinoids for 900 hours without interruption,” said Farmako’s co-founder and Chief Science Officer, Patrick Schmitt, in a press release. “For example, 4.5 kilograms of THC