The business was founded by David Paul Watson in 1990. He was soon joined by David W. Pate and eventually Robert C. Clarke. They obtained the first license issued by the Dutch government to permit a Cannabis research facility in the Netherlands. HortaPharm B.V. has a partnership with GW Pharmaceuticals to develop Cannabis varieties for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals.
Using selective breeding and production control, HortaPharm created Cannabis strains that produce virtually single cannabinoids, approximately 98% tetrahydrocannabinol or cannabidiol, relative to the total of other cannabinoids present.