I believe autos will be the future cultivar type of choice for large commercial cannabis cultivators, mainly because they will be able to rotate 3 or even 4 crops annually in warm and tropical climates, with very uniform plants all from soil-sown seed. Like soybeans.
Auto strains were created for far-northern lattitudes where summers were too short to finish photoperiodic strains. But they will see their biggest use in long-season areas, I predict.
Not that I like it. But the big seed companies, and mechanized large-scale farmers, love it. Terminal all-female seed, no cloning operations, strict uniformity, 90 days whole crop seed-to-harvest regardless of season. Potency issues will be addressed in processing, via “blending” and extraction a la cigarettes. People will prefer consistency over potency in the end, and go with uniform brands because they can count on them to deliver a consistent taste and high. A “Marley’s Choice” joint will be a Marley’s Choice every time, like a Marlboro cigarette today.
FDM does not sell autoflowering strains, and has no plans to do so.
By commercial I mean legal, professional agricultural scale cultivation: thousands of plants, in the ground. As cannabis becomes more commercial, raw flower will become less common, processed cannabis – joints, extractions, concentrates, and infusions – will become the dominant product. Once that happens, crystally tight and potent buds will not be the apex product breeders breed for. THC production per acre per year will be the benchmark. Autos will rule in that production environment.