Interview Series Part I: DNA Genetics Co-Founders Don Morris and Aaron Yarkoni
Copperstate Farms has partnered with DNA Genetics to bring the globally recognized and award-winning cannabis brand to the Arizona market. Earlier this year, the first DNA Genetics branded products were released at Sol Flower dispensaries. Don Morris and Aaron Yarkoni, co-founders at DNA Genetics, discussed how they first got involved in the industry and future plans with Copperstate Farms.
1. How did you get involved with breeding cannabis?
“We became involved in breeding cannabis simply based on our love for the plant and the desire to create new and unique varieties by crossbreeding some of our favorites. It took time but eventually those strains became the strains that we all know and love today.”- Don Morris & Aaron Yarkoni
2. Can you provide a little bit of backstory on DNA Genetics?
“DNA Genetics was founded in Amsterdam in 2004 by Don Morris and I. We are the (“D” and “A”) of DNA Genetics. We started selling cannabis seeds in Amsterdam since it was the only legal market at the time, but as more places legalized, we wanted to expand our business to include licensing. We’ve won hundreds of awards for our strains and continue to develop new and unique varieties.” – Aaron Yarkoni
3. If you had to sum up your breeding philosophy in a sentence, what would it be?
“Our breeding philosophy is simple; we breed for ourselves and the qualities that we like. Just so happens that other people have the same taste!” – Aaron Yarkoni
4. What are your favorite strains on the market with Copperstate?
“That’s a tough one. I’d say that all of the varieties we selected to grow at Copperstate are some of our all-time favorites out of our entire library of strains. Each strain at Copperstate is unique in its own way and brings something very different to the table. The Tangie and 24k Gold offer citrusy fragrance and bright highs, whereas the Holy Grail, Skywalker, and Kosher varietals offer a gassy nose that packs a punch.” – Aaron Yarkoni
5. What is most important when finding a licensing partner? How do your company goals and vision align with Copperstate?
“When we look into a potential licensing partner, we look for the best possible partner in that specific market. The type of partner we look for has the same commitment to quality, authenticity, and emphasis on integrity as we do. Copperstate’s commitment to best practices, the highest-quality products and emphasis on integrity perfectly align with our ideal partner.” – Don Morris
6. Do you bring a different approach to a medical versus an adult-use market when choosing strains?
“No, not particularly. We usually use the same approach across the board when choosing strains.” – Don Morris & Aaron Yarkoni
7. Copperstate is one of the largest grows in North America and we heard that you were able to work with a sample size of 12,000 pre-sorted strains. What was it like to work on that scale and size?
“It was very challenging at first but once we got the right personnel in there the pieces of the puzzle slowly started to fit, and the final product came out beautifully. We helped create new standardized operating procedures at Copperstate’s farm and now they are pumping out top-notch products!”- Don Morris & Aaron Yarkoni
8. Do you have any exciting future plans with Copperstate that you can discuss?
“Possibly bringing out extracts and maybe some new varieties soon! We are excited for all the possibilities we have to collaborate with Copperstate Farms.” – Don Morris