More recently, they’ve moved their operations back to California, where they’re firmly established among the largest and most respected cannabis brands in the game today.
In the late 1960s, Netherlands native Ben Dronkers sailed on merchant ships to exotic ports of call, where he initially sought out fabric to start his own clothing company, but eventually began collecting local cannabis seeds instead. In time, his collection was truly unparalleled and boasted genetics from throughout Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. He then used those landrace strains to breed his own hybrids.
According to a lengthy 2013 Grantland profile titled “The Willie Wonka of Pot,” DJ Short—the legendary, nearly mythical cannabis breeder behind Blueberry and many other classic strains—is part of a long line of plant medicine workers. His great-grandmother “used to grow pot, opium, tobacco, sage, and lavender in a backyard garden. The curtains in his grandmother’s house were made of hemp. His family used to joke, ‘If the house catches on fire, stay in for a little while and breathe.’”
In nature, those seeds form in the late autumn—when the male plants pollinate the females. Each time such pollination takes place the result is a genetically unique seed—one that contains DNA from both of its parents—but without the direct involvement of human beings, the amount of genetic diversity seen from generation to generation is practically pretty limited.
Sour Tsunami —bred by Lawrence Ringo of Southern Humboldt Seed Collective—was the first stabilized CBD-rich strain they found in California, a discovery that led to a revolution in medical cannabis.
The move put them in direct contact with Amsterdam’s legendary cannabis scene, which had been serving as a center of breeding and seed banks since the days of Dave Watson and Ben Dronkers back in the 1980s.
Along with Robert Colonel Clarke (Author of Hashish! and Marijuana Botany ), he would go on to form Hortapharm , a company dedicated to collecting cannabis seeds from around the world, both to create a stable genetic library and to breed new hybrids with desirable traits. By the late 1990s, they were doing business with Dr. Geoffrey Guy, founder and chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals , which is now licensed by the British government to cultivate cannabis for use in making “whole-plant extracts” with specific ratios of THC and CBD for use as prescription medicines.
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Without expert cannabis breeders and seed banks, we would not have the diverse and eclectic mix of strains that we all get to enjoy today. Here you can find a list of breeders from across the globe. Read all about who they are, the strains they have in their catalog and of course their reviews.
The world of cannabis is ever evolving, and to that end, this collection of breeders is not definitive. As up and coming talents enter the industry our list will keep growing and growing. Even better, if you know a breeder or seed bank that should be presented here, then let us know!