Thursday, May 06, 2010

Notes from BIO: Green Revolution

We've survived BIO and most of us are home, ready to relax after a loooooong week. But before you sign off, enjoy our favorite off-topic anecdote from the conference.

It was Monday evening, I believe, and half of IVB's BIO contingent was comparing notes from the day, not to mention the various lagers at a brewpub, and we had the good luck to sit next to an agricultural scientist from one of the large seed companies. Now, ag-bio is far afield from our various areas of expertise, but we know enough about monocultures, Michael Pollan and pollen drift to gin up a lively conversation. Even so, it took us a while to screw up our courage and ask the real burning question: How many ag-bio scientists grow their own? And we don't mean soybeans.

Our new friend, an avid home-brewer of beer by the way, thought about it for a few seconds, put on a straight face, and said, "Half probably know how. Thirty percent probably would give advice on the QT to those looking for it. And maybe five percent would actually do something to risk losing their jobs."

We all agreed that this was highly unscientific data. But seeing how the federal government has deprioritized prosecution of medical-marijuana cases, and a few Northern California municipalities have either decided to look the other way or move toward taxation of the medical marijuana dispensaries that have grown like, well, weeds, our interlocutor admitted looking forward to the day growing pot became a legitimate job in his home state. He might even consider a third career, brewing beer being the second. We know VCs are piling into green tech startups, but we're curious how, ahem, green they're willing to get.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Photo courtesy of flickr user paraflyer.

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