Sativa Magazine Online Issue No. 3 April 2013
Sativa’s Media Guide & Advertising Rate Kit. Everything you need to grow your business.
President & Publisher
Marketing Director & Editor-in-Chief
Managing Editor & Design Director
Assistant Design Director & Social Marketing Team Leader
Emily Cain Josh Clappe Ramon Ramirez Steven Waite
Max Bortnick Ramon Ramirez Steven Waite
Roger Vigo Mercedys M.
Jim Beans Franklin Ewing Hippy KK Paul Josephs Stephen K. Darren Marcus Joe Martin Mike McHone Mercedys M. Karen E. Szabo
All contents ©2013 Sativa Magazine. Sativa Magazine is published and distributed by Vanguard Click Publishing, Seattle, WA. Sativa Magazine does not condone or endorse any illegal use of any products or services advertised herein. All material is for educational purposes only. Sativa Magazine recommends consulting an attorney before considering any business decision or venture. We take no responsibility for the actions of our readers.
As the war on drugs collapses
This month our special has to do with the rising market that Cannabis seeds will become in America. Today they are sold as souvenirs research and for medical purposes. Very soon they will be a large export, as they already are in Canada and many other countries. Today we have collected and built some of the best genetics to produce very specific benefits to the medical community. The Cannabis I see today is nothing like the Cannabis my step dad grew. The plant didn’t have all the trichomes we have today. The design of Cannabis has changed. For better or worse, depending on your desired tastes. It has changed due to selective breeding. And there just so happens to be a huge market for amazing Cannabis genetics. Worldwide. I would love to see a market where we could buy, sell and trade our genetics openly between all countries. And design the benefits to the patient in need of strain of Cannabis that provides the perfect balance of active compounds to help with their symptoms. Cannabis has been selective bred for desired effect in general. There are compounds in Cannabis that will actually make you LOSE weight. Not all Cannabis gives you the munchies. These chemicals can be increased and decreased in the plant through selective breeding. Organic designer medication. I would like to see some of the old genetics I remember as a young man show back up again. The Cannabis my step dad grew smelled so strong, you had to triple bag it before you
Vacuum sealed it twice just so you could take it with you in public. I would like to see some of the classic genetics brought back to the West Coast and back to America. I want my stinky, sticky tasty super dank back! I want that sticky icky icky! And we seem to have lost a lot of it. It’s more rare to find. Oftentimes because some of the best Cannabis is Sativa. And Sativa strains take longer to finish and require a lot of grow space. So growers have selected hybrids that give them the best of both worlds...but in the process many desired traits have been lost. The THC content is through the roof, the smell is much stronger, and the taste is amazing in the strains such as MTG’s Prezidential Kush. The hybrids these days have changed the market. These changes have created amazing opportunities ... opportunities to design the organic medical properties in Cannabis. We can naturally organize the chemicals in Cannabis to benefit many people, for many reasons. It truly is an AMAZING plant. The business opportunities, medical and health benefits, the opportunities it represents to the world once legalized, the potential for change ... this is a revolutionary time. This is a revolutionary plant. I am very excited to be a part of creating change. And creating jobs. I imagine a system where it’s comfortable and legal to trade and share your Cannabis genetics worldwide. And I see an opening business CONTINUED ON PAGE 64//
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APRIL 2013 COLUMNS Business Highdeas: Breed it, feed it, put it in a box 11 Mercedys M. & Michael Carter go off on see-related business what-ifs. Stoke it if you’ve got it: top 10 Cannabis stocks In case you’ve got some cash laying around...
Medibles Cannabudder makes everything better Hippy KK breaks down the basic recipe.
Nuggshots.com OG Kush | Monkey Paw | Detroit Bud The bud you crave, brought to you by Raz.
THE BREEDING ISSUE Blinded by Science Paul Josephs eases you into thinking like a breeder.
Sex in the Garden: Part One More sex than you can handle. No; not really.
Dude, What Happened to My Clone? The master discusses genetic drift.
Social Seeds Franklin Ewing talks social media and the seed biz. Retweeting is encouraged.
A View From the Fence: Soil vs. Hydroponics The Celebrity Death Match of cannaculture.
Growing Your Future: Part One The ABCs of growing.
Congratulations! Your Plant is Expecting! Paul Josephs walks you through the morning sickness and the overwhelming desire to consume chocolate chip ice cream.
Jim Beans on Male Selection The stud finder tells all.
Golden Days Karen Szabo waxes sentimental.
A Perfect Marriage Serious Seeds and Magus Genetics are now one.
From Trash to Cash The once-despised seed is now big business.
ELEBRATION PIPES marks 40 ICTORY GREEN
IN 1973, Richard Nixon was just sworn
raging after 10 years of American invo and CELEBRATION PIPES were first Christmas presents…what finer sacra
0th anniversary with
n into his second term. The Vietnam War was still olvement. Gas was $0.38 /gallon. Gold was $110/oz. t created on Laie Point, Oahu as stocking stuffers for amental vessel for the herb than a golden bowl? Here we are 40 years later in 2013 and there are DOZENS of states that are either legal (HOORAY for COLORADO & WASHINGTON) or medicinal with DOZENS more seeking sanity from PROHIBITION. Baby boomers suffer from all the classic aging symptoms and seek relief with the herb. CELEBRATION PIPES are still being made one at a time by the same craftsman with the same Gold that now costs $1,600 / oz. and the 40th anniversary pipe is VICTORY GREEN. Each LAVASTONEWARE piece is still handcrafted by DaPiper from his unique ceramic composite, fired to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit, then meticulously plated in 22 Kt. Gold to reflect the heat and provide the finest burn and smoothest delivery of any pipe on the planet. The bowls exterior is plated in Gold, Platinum, Opal, Black Coral, Purple Haze, Hanalei Blue, or Rastafire and now VICTORY GREEN. Each pipe is encased in a velvet bag and presented in a custom gift box with a Certificate of Authenticity, signed and numbered. Over the years, CELEBR ATION PIPES have been commissioned to create pieces that are in the
collections of AEROSMITH, BOB MARLEY & the WAILERS, CECELIO & K APONO, CHEECH & CHONG, DARYL HANNAH, HUGH HEFNER, FLEETWOOD M AC, JEFFERSON STARSHIP, JESSE COLIN YOUNG, KALAPANA, LOGGINS & MESSINA, KEITH STROUP, (founder of NORML), WILLY NELSON, WOODY HARRELSON, and ZIGGY MARLEY. To help complete the war on PROHIBITION, we are proud to support NORML for their tireless efforts lobbying all levels of Government to FR EE THE WEED. Each purchase of a VICTORY GREEN pipe sends a few more bucks to NORML that will someday lead to safe and sane LEGALISATION once and for allâ€Ś!!! GO TO : www.celebrationpipes.com or find us @ www. norml.org and order your collectors 40 th anniversary edition TODAY ! See you at DENVER 4/20/2013 Rally & Seattle HEMPFEST August, 2013. Aloha, DaPiper
Highdeas: Breed it, feed it, put it in a box MERCEDYS M. & M. CARTER Highdea #1: Seed Breeder Because Cannabis seeds cannot be sold for cultivation in the U.S., they must instead be marketed as souvenirs or sold strictly for research and medical purposes. Despite these limitations, American breeders have already created an amazing array of domestic Cannabis strains. If talented breeders are willing to venture into this unexplored territory, Cannabis seeds could well become high man (oh, yes) on the U.S. GNP totem. Over the last 40 years, clandestine and close-knit circles have formed to share, spread and breed new American hybrids. These under-theradar communities have created some of the most famous strains available on the market today. As deregulation progresses, closet breeders who have been unwilling to risk prosecution for sharing their unique strains will undoubtedly emerge and contribute to the burgeoning industry. As this market propagates, the current click-to-ship business model may be expanded upon to create numerous additional revenue avenues for seed breeders. Not only
can seeds fetch from $10 to $20 apiece depending on their genetic characteristics and reputation, but the bud itself can be used to make medibles or smokable oil extracts. Offering strain-specific growing classes serves as another potential revenue source. These classes would provide an advantage over competitors by drawing in loyal customers who wish to optimize their productions for their favorite strain. Each strain has its own quirks, and who better to teach you how to tweak your growing system to best compensate for these than the breeders themselves? The possibilities for prosperity are as boundless as the strains themselves. If you love to breed, now is the time to capitalize on this opportunity. Soon you could be earning a living by pioneering new business models, creating your own hybrid strains, and teaching others how to nurture your babies. Available URLs: GirlySeeds.com GirlyGirlSeed.com BreederBoySeeds.com StableSeeds.com JodiAppleSeed.com TrueBredSeed.com
SeedGenome.com AmerigenSeeds.com AmeriSeeds.com AmerSeeds.com AmerSeed.com SeedSon.com SeedSell.com PollenChucker.com Seedzo.com Highdea #2: Private Online Grow Consultant The story is all too common. New growers realize they have a problem and so they go shopping, buying all types of expensive equipment that doesnâ€™t even begin to address the real issues with their crops. Most newbies figure this out rather fast when their system is still incapable of growing the bud they dream of, even though theyâ€™ve spent thousands of dollars. Frustrated, they give up and sell their equipment at a considerable loss, or gift it to a more experienced friend who will grow for them. This pattern creates an opportunity for an experienced grower to serve as a private grow consultant with a multi-tiered fee structure to address potential clientele. For
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Business • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Highdeas //FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
example, one option could be tailored specifically to new growers to help them design a system that works within the constraints and meets their needs for a one-time fee. The relatively big price tag you could conceivably attach to this option — say, $750 — is still a good value because the newbies not only save considerably on unneeded equipment, but they also cultivate impressive harvests from their very first grow cycle. The win-win is irresistible for them and profitable for you, because it will motivate the new growers to retain you for subsequent grows at best, or at least call you for any future emergencies. Both scenarios can cultivate long-term profit. A retaining fee might provide clients ongoing access to your services so they can call, email, or send videos and pictures to ask questions and get advice. Even if the retaining fee is only $250 per two month grow cycle, you could easily maintain 30 retention clients at a time. So, in exchange for sharing your knowledge about growing, you could be earning $3,750 a month while enjoying the freedom of self-employment. Or you only accept as many clients as your current schedule allows to supplement your existing income in your spare time.
As with any cannabusiness, make sure your business practices comply with state regulations. This job has the potential to thrive as the market, and your client base, rapidly expands.
and operate their own dispensary or sell their product at a reduced rate to a dispensary, growers could rent out one of your units and install an automated dispensing machine.
Available URLs: GreenThumbAssistant.com GreenCareVideo.com MedVidConsulting.com MedVidConsult.com GreenVidConsult.com GreenVidConsulting.com SomeGreenAdvice.com MMAdvisor.com MMAdviser.com MMAdvice.com GreenHelpMe.com
This system greatly improves upon the security found at standard dispensaries today. Your staff would verify the identity of all patients before they enter the interior of the storage unit complex, continuously monitored by security cameras. The dispensing machines themselves add another layer of protection with fingerprint recognition and other high-tech security features.
Highdea #3: Storage Unit Dispensaries
Since automated dispensing machines can sell anything, head shops, glass blowers, and others could sell their goods on your premises as well. Such an arrangement would require a bit more creativity in organization — maybe separate the dispensaries from the other goods for security purposes — but allows you to create a one-stop-shop for everything patients need to take their medication. Hell — invest in a few traditional vending machines filled with snack foods and stand back! The possibilities are endless.
The invention of secure automated dispensing machines creates numerous possibilities for transforming how dispensaries operate. All of a sudden, it is possible to have a dispensing machine in the back of your store or grow shop. These additions could merely supplement the existing dispensary system, or it could transform it altogether. As the owner of a storage unit complex in a location approved by local regulations to serve as a dispensary, you could create a one-stop-shop for all the Cannabis patients in town. Rather than staff
The overhead costs here would b e h ig h er t h a n t h o s e of a CONTINUED ON PAGE 66//
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Stoke it if you’ve got it: top ten Cannabis stocks MERCEDYS M. Deciding to invest in a cannabusiness is the easy part. Deciding which one is more complicated. Spreading deregulation has spurred such economic growth that cannabusiness abounds across America today. Investment opportunities far surpass the medical dispensaries most think of as the backbone of the American Cannabis market. You can, in fact, invest in a diverse range of fields – including textiles, paper, renewable energy, medicine, education, construction, and tourism – to capitalize on this green rush. But investing in Cannabis is risky. One needs a fortune teller to predict how the murky legal situation will affect businesses. Until federal regulations change, all cannabusinesses remain vulnerable. Plus, many cannabusinesses suffer from being led by naive stoners entering the market for the first time with big dreams but little in the way of the business experience necessary to build a profitable venture. This is why before investing with any company, it is critical to do your research. Learn all you can about the company, the business plan, the
employees’ backgrounds, and the company’s vision. Finding a cannabusiness with the right combination of talented employees, a solid business plan, and a groundbreaking vision can be daunting, but all the stocks on our Top Ten Cannabis Stocks List prove it is possible. Cannabis Scienc e (CBIS) researches innovative medical treatments utilizing various cannabinoids found within Cannabis plants for a variety of medical conditions including cancer, arthritis, pain management, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and HIV. Their combination of an aggressive research and development program, widespread connections with industry leaders in medical research and their governmental regulators, and a patient-focused mission virtually ensures they will be a leader in cannabinoid-based medical breakthroughs. The fact that they are not merely going to develop but also produce their own medical treatments, such as the topical ointment which studies show helps treat certain forms of skin cancer, only increases the potential returns for stockholders. Since elections in November 2012,
their stock value has increased by 40 percent. GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPRF) is the competitor to catch up with for Cannabis science. GW Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1998, and seeks to develop and produce Cannabis-based medical treatments for a variety of illnesses. Despite being actively engaged in numerous research projects, the company currently maintains an impressive 12.5 percent profit margin. The FDA is reviewing their main product, Sativex, an oral spray that 21 countries already allow as a treatment for spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. Although the value of their stock has fallen 20 percent – from $1.02 to 81 cents a share – since the November elections, in the case of FDA approval of the medication or the release of a new product, the value of their stock will skyrocket, earning them a place on our Top Ten Cannabis Stocks List. Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MJNA) is a conglomeration of companies that share an innovative, environmentally conscious corporate mindset working under one umbrella and enjoying input
Business • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Top ten stocks //FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
from the experienced professionals at headquarters. Investing in this stock is safer than most as you’re basically purchasing stock for all their companies, which are involved in various aspects of the Cannabis industry – from medical clinic management to creating innovative methods for ensuring quality and purity of Cannabis products. Some of their offerings have already been featured on CNN and 60 Minutes. And, with their pre-announcement of earnings from the fourth quarter of 2012 showing a 1,100 percent increase in revenue year to date from 2011, they have clearly found a successful balance between independent innovation and successful business management. Since November 2012, their stock value has more than doubled – but at 28 cents a share, it remains quite affordable for investors. Altria Group (MO) is the world’s largest cigarette and smokeless tobacco company with numerous subsidiaries, including Phillip Morris USA. Altria Group could easily expand into the Cannabis industry utilizing their already established production, distribution, and management systems by merely switching out tobacco for marijuana. One can’t speculate when such a switch will occur, but their stock had a 7.1 percent
return for investors in 2012, and these numbers are only going to rise if they expand into the Cannabis market. Hemp Inc. (HEMP) strives to be a catalyst for the realization of the worldwide potential benefits of hemp products and, with that goal in mind, has created a diversified business plan. They, and their subsidiaries, have created an online community that includes a Hemp University and a Hemp Marketplace. They also directly market products such as dietary supplements, and began the EcoHarmony Loyalty and Rewards Card Program. Another of their subsidiaries, Marijuana, Inc. TV, creates and publishes high-quality educational yet entertaining media about current Cannabis issues. Their documentary, Marijuana, Inc: Inside America’s Pot Industry, was wildly successful on CNBC. Investing in Hemp Inc. is an investment in the future of the dissemination of hemp products and information. Although the value of their stock has fallen by 25 percent since November 2012, we predict they will be the leaders in expanding the hemp market in America. Medbox (MDBX) has received widespread acclaim for their development of a patented mechanical system for dispensing prescription
medications. Their secure system does not even require Internet connectivity as it uses fingerprint identification and stores all records in the unit. Although their stock has fluctuated this year, industry experts predict the company will continue to grow rapidly. One hundred thirty of their machines are already in nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and alternative medical clinics, and 40 more are scheduled for delivery in the next quarter. Medbox could become a common method for dispensing marijuana and Cannabis-based products in dispensaries and medical settings in the years ahead. After the November elections, the price of their stock skyrocketed, peaking at $215 on November 15. For investors who can patiently handle some fluctuations, their stock is worth considering. Since the November elections, it has appreciated by more than 800 percent. ATV, INC. (AVTC) is similar to Medbox, but offers customizable automated retailing machines that can be used to sell or demonstrate virtually anything. Their website advertises their product’s ability to be used for distinct purposes, from selling perfume and cups of coffee to demonstrating games and highlighting different services a business offers. With the ability to custom order machines specific
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to the needs of retailers, ATV could be used to sell Cannabis paraphernalia and hemp products or to dispense Cannabis itself in controlled environments. And, seeing how the company has earned a profit nearly every quarter since its inception in 1998, ATV is an ideal stock option for those who want to invest in the Cannabis green rush without high risk. Don’t wait too long to act on this one. Over the past five months, their stock has risen from $1.53 to $4 a share – an increase of over 260 percent!
– but closer investigation reveals it was just so cheap that websites don’t list it properly. Currently, it’s selling at 7 cents a share – an increase of 20 times since their pre2012 election price of .0035 cents per share.
MediSwipe (MWIP) is uniquely tailored to help medical Cannabis companies navigate the complex bureaucratic structure that can rapidly eat into their profits by providing affordable services for accepting and processing all types of payments. Their current offerings include customer loyalty programs; electronic, mobile, and point-ofsale payment processing; access to their alliance network for competitive rates processing both debit and credit cards; and consulting services aimed at increasing profit margins, including techniques such as social media marketing. At first glance, their stock might seem worthless – it’s historically been listed at a price of $0.00 by prominent websites
Terra Tech (TRTC) strives to meet the growing needs of the indoor commercial agricultural industry, while their fully owned subsidiary, Grow Op, serves the needs of smaller operations. Their research and development branches have created an array of products aimed at improving lighting systems, advanced environmental control, filtration, and nutrient delivery; they’ve even developed portable grow trailers. Although their stock has fallen by 20 percent since legalization in Colorado and Washington, they are consistently improving their offerings through continual innovation and partnerships with other companies, and we expect them to become
a one-stop Web shop for Cannabis growers and investors. GrowLife (PHOT) is a conglomeration of seven different subsidiaries, each of which offers unique products to the Cannabis industry. Not only have they created an online community based around their company and co-produce high-quality entertainment media, they also sell all types of grow equipment. They specialize in hydroponics, wireless monitoring, and control systems, and lead the Cannabis market in LED grow lights. Although some believe LED lights may not currently produce enough heat nor light to grow Cannabis as effectively as other types of lights, when technological improvements rectify these shortcomings, the 25 percent reduction of electrical usage will be enough to convince most growers to switch over. We expect GrowLife to remain leaders in the LED grow light industry – and investors apparently agree if the 50 percent increase in the value of their stocks since November is any indication. FusionPharm (FSPM) transforms standard steel shipping containers into environmentally controlled CONTINUED ON PAGE 66//
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The Breeding Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
SCIENCE! Basic Breeding Terminology And Concepts
By Paul Josephs Have you ever been shopping for a great strain and been perplexed by the terms and abbreviations? What does it mean when the breeder offers “An F2 Afghan Safari guaranteed to surprise you!” or says, “We’ve rejuvenated our IBL Gold Miner with this BX1 using our Columbian Gold mother.” It can be daunting to make sense of these seemingly cryptic descriptions, as if there is some secret breeder’s society you never were invited to join. Well, here is your personal invitation to the club.
Hybrid A hybrid is the result of crossing two different varieties together. Take the hybrid Blue Cheese for example. This is a hybrid, or strain, created by crossing a Blueberry plant with a Big Buddha Cheese plant.
The F word The F in F1, F2, F3, and so on is for Filial. This is an old word pertaining to son or daughter and in genetics refers to the offspring in terms of generations. An F1 generation is the First Filial Generation, the first generation of offspring from a hybrid cross. Using the Blue Cheese example, the first generation of
seeds from the initial pairing of Blueberry with Big Buddha Cheese are F1 seeds. If the breeder takes two plants grown from these F1 seeds and crosses them, the resulting seeds and plants are F2 generation. An F3 generation is, well, I think you get the picture.
IBL No it is not a new deli sandwich choice; IBL is short for Inbred Line. This is what you are getting with the F3 and beyond generations. IBLs should indicate that the strain or hybrid is becoming or is already stable for a number of traits. This stability is often referred to as true breeding, that you can expect certain traits to be consistently exhibited in the offspring.
BX Inbreeding can concentrate undesirable traits as well as desired ones,which is where a BX comes into play .BX is short for Back-Cross. A backcross is taking an offspring plant and crossing it with one of the original parent plants. Say our F4 Blue Cheese is lacking some Blueberry traits. We can take an F4 plant and back-cross it with the original Blueberry mother plant if we have maintained a clone of the original Blueberry mother plant. This would create a
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Illustration by wordle.net
BX1 generation. If this BX1 generation does not possess the traits we were looking for we can take a BX1 plant and back-cross it again to the Blueberry mother to once again reinforce the Blueberry traits. This is a BX2 generation. BX2 crossing is also referred to as squaring.
F1 and hybrid vigor When a cross is first made and the parent strains are quite different - an extreme example would be a pure sativa crossed with a pure indica - the genes are going to be very mixed and different in the resulting F1 generation. In order to avoid launching into an in depth discussion involving more fancy terms, let’s just say that this F1 generation is going to produce fairly uniform offspring that tend to grow and yield vigorously. Hence the term hybrid vigor.
F2 and recombination The mixed genes of the F1 generation will
combine again to create a genetically diverse F2 generation. The general uniformity seen in the F1 generation goes out the window. In the example of the sativa crossed with the indica you can expect some resulting plants to look like a sativa, some to look like an indica and some to be intermediate. Thus the use of the word ‘surprise’ in the “An F2 Afghan Safari guaranteed to surprise you!” example given in the introduction.
Welcome to the club Hopefully now you have a better understanding of the terms you often see in the search for great seeds to grow. Go impress your friends with your new vocabulary - “Yeah, bro, their IBL was getting tired out, so they juiced it up big time with that BX2 generation!” When they cannot understand what you mean, extend our personal invitation to join the breeders’ club.
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The Breeding Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
SEX IN THE GA
Part One: Breeding Cannabis for Beginners
In this series we’ll explain the basics of Cannabis breeding by going through the simple steps of creating a second generation hybrid. It’s remarkably easy. Every amazing strain you’ve ever seen is the result of someone’s breeding program and with today’s incredible genetics available to work with it is easier than ever for you to achieve fantastic results.
No fancy terms, please It’s common to be immediately overwhelmed or bored by most genetics books or articles. All those long words, scientific concepts and diagrams and make it out to be a very complex and daunting prospect. What happens on the genetic level is indeed very complex but let’s leave that for the plants to sort out and instead focus on the steps for growing a second generation hybrid from seed.
Start with a plan The first step to any successful breeding
program is to define an end goal which will guide all of the future steps. Whatever your goal might be the process is the same. Breeding is really one simple sentence put into action: Growing a number of plants and selecting the ones that best represent your goal and crossing them together. Continuing your breeding program is simply growing plants from the previous cross, evaluating the resulting plants and again selecting the ones that best represent your goal and crossing them. Simple.
The goal Our goal is a compact and potent plant featuring resinous buds with a unique taste. Purple coloration would be a bonus.
Choosing a starting point After establishing a goal you must choose two strains with the genetic potential to make it a reality. For our purposes, we will select two hypothetical strains we think will work and
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By Paul Josephs Illustration by Josh Clappe SATIVAMAGAZINE.COM
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The Breeding Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Avatar plants. The identities of the actual breeding subjects have been protected.
describe our hypothetical situation to outline the steps breeders must go through. Having read the descriptions found in a seed catalog, seeing pictures and getting a sense of what the breeder has in mind we settle on two strains to cross - Mystery Magic and King’s Conquest. Neither are feminized. That’s critical as we don’t want all females, we need males to allow us to produce seeds and mix genes.
What we are working with Mystery Magic is described as a very compact mostly indica with frosty buds which at times produces purple coloration. King’s Conquest has South African and Kush parentage, described as a vigorous and potent strain with an exotic taste.
Getting started We plant five seeds of each parent, nurture them and, when the time is right, induce flower to see how many male and female plants there will be to work with. We end up with five female Mystery Magic plants and two male and three female King’s Conquest plants.
Selection - the male parent We need to select the plant that most represents what we want for our goal. Since both males are King’s Conquest strain, we need to select the one to use as the pollen parent. One male is pretty leggy with Cannabis sativa type narrow leaves. The other is shorter with Cannabis indica type leaves. Since we want a compact plant as part of our ideal, this shorter one looks promising. We also want an exotic, unique taste and a potent high. Being male plants there’s not an obvious way to determine those traits but we can get clues from them. Potency is often linked to hollow stems while taste is linked to smell. The taller plant has a firm solid stem and a somewhat grassy scent. The shorter plant has a resilient stem and a strong lemon and licoricetinged scent. We select this King’s Conquest male as it is compact and hints at it’s potency and taste qualities. We discard the taller male immediately, or better yet, compost it. Adios amigo, we can’t take the chance of your pollen contaminating our project.
Selection - the female parent
We need to apply the same process to the Mystery Magic females. They all have quite a lot of healthy pistils or ‘hairs’ so they are all ready to be fertilized. All five are compact with upright branches. They all have wide indica type leaves. Two have purple tinged pistils, which looks cool and indicates pigmentation. Of those two, one is more fragrant than the other and is already showing good resin production. This will be our Mystery Magic female parent as it best represents what we want for our goal - a compact and potent plant featuring resinous buds with a unique taste which even has purple coloration as a bonus.
Now its time to grow some of these first generation seeds into mature plants. These King’s Magic plants carry traits from both parents but may not all be seen in this generation. We won’t concern ourselves about why that is for now - but we do have another round of selections to make. We simply look over the male and female choices and select the plants that most represent what we want for our goal the same way we did before. Then its time to cross those two selected parents and wait for the second generation seeds to be produced.
Seal the deal Time for Cannabis sex. We need seeds to continue our project but also want to see the mother plant’s potential so we don’t need to pollinate the entire plant. To do that we move the selected King’s Conquest male plant out of the room. As the male flowers start releasing pollen we can collect it in a folded piece of clean paper. By dipping a thin natural bristle paintbrush like might be used for calligraphy into the pollen and transfer it gently onto some lower flowers of the Mystery Magic mother we can allow the main cola to remain unpollinated so we can see the mother’s full flowering potential. After three to five weeks the seeds will be mature, often splitting the calyxes to show part of their brown covering. The flowers may not be fully ripe yet, so we’ll harvest when it’s time. We collect the seeds from the pollinated flowers after they have cured. The seeds from this cross are the first hybrid generation of our project. Let’s name our new hybrid King’s Magic.
Showtime! It’s time to see the fruit of our labor. We’ll grow out as many of the second generation King’s Magic seeds as we can. If we have friends who want to grow some, excellent! Share the love, as the more seeds that are grown out the better sense we will have of our hybrid’s potential. Lo and behold, there should be some that come close to our goal. There could be unexpected results as well; maybe even some that exceed our goal in one area or another. We might want to clone our favorites from this batch, or continue on with our program. We are not beginners now, so we might want to look into advanced breeding techniques. It’s been fun and we learned a lot. Enjoy your breeding projects and share the results with your friends.
Conclusion: Next month we will see what our results are and move forward with our project, learning more about genetics and breeding concepts as we go.
Want to learn more? Check out these two books with a great deal of genetics and breeding information: Marijuana Botany by Robert Connell Clarke The Cannabis Breeder’s Bible by Greg Green
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Cannabudder makes everything better HIPPY KK Medibles are the most potent way to ingest cannabinoids and a great source of pain relief. Our monthly featured Medible recipe will pack Cannabis into your favorite sweet treat or main meal, providing you with a strong sedative effect that does not require continued dosing throughout the day. This recipe, which yields one pound of Cannabudder, will provide the basic ‘budder’ from which countless baked goods or other medibles can be made. 1 You will need: A two-quart or larger pan, long handled spoon for stirring, four sticks of butter, two cups of water, one ounce Cannabis, cheesecloth, rubber band, and a plastic container with a lid. 2 On high heat, bring your water to a boil. Once your water is boiling, reduce heat to medium. Place your butter in water and melt completely. 3 Once butter is melted, reduce heat to low. 4 Now that the butter has melted, add your Cannabis. Add in any combination of Cannabis parts which equals 1 oz. and stir well. Let simmer for approximately three hours stirring occasionally. 5 While your mix is simmering, prepare the container with the cheesecloth. Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to double over that will fit across your container with an allowance on all four sides so that the rubber band holds it down. When finished, your container should look like the picture to the right of step five. 6 When the mixture has turned ‘thick’ and glossy in appearance it is time to strain out the Cannabis. 7 Slowly pour the entire mixture over the top of the cheesecloth. Do this over the sink to make it easy to clean up spills. 8 After pouring the entire mixture over the cheesecloth, carefully remove the rubber band by holding all
four sides of the cloth. In doing so, it will prevent the cloth from falling into the mixture when you remove the rubber band. CAUTION! CONTENTS ARE HOT. Be careful not to burn yourself while squeezing out excess butter. If you prefer, you may leave the Cannabis on the cheesecloth to cool and squeeze the excess out afterwards. Discard the Cannabis and cheesecloth. This process removes the THC leaving few — if any — reasons to keep the Cannabis remains. 9 Place the lid on your container and allow to cool in the refrigerator, preferably overnight or at least for several hours until the Cannabudder on top solidifies. 10 Once the Cannabudder has solidified on top remove it from the refrigerator. As you can see, some liquefied water will remain underneath the Cannabudder. Over the sink, remove lid and squeeze sides of the container to release the Cannabudder. Tip container upside down over the sink and allow the water to drain. 11 Congratulations! You now have a solid pound of Cannabudder. Store Cannabudder in container used to make it or wrap in Saran Wrap before placing it in your refrigerator. As always, be cautious anytime you are using a new method of consuming Cannabis, as each can have unique effects.
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Dude, What Happened To My Clone? Genetic Drift And Cloning
REEDER JONES won the Cannabis Cup in Denver for the best mostly-sativa strain! Accolades come from far and wide, and Mr. Jones is profoundly gratified that his breeding and growing skills merged perfectly. Demand for clones of his winning plant is sky-high and he forges a business agreement with a company that will exclusively propagate and distribute his winning cultivar from their large growing facility at a very nice profit to him. After a year, however, he starts getting reports from the distributor that they are getting complaints that the clones they are selling are ‘not the real deal.’ What is going on?
BY PAUL JOSEPHS ILLUSTRATION BY JASON OSBURN SATIVAMAGAZINE.COM
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Oh, no! It’s genetic drift! Internet forums start buzzing with reports that his clones are experiencing genetic drift; bloggers claim the clones are ‘tired’ from overcloning, or that it is not natural for an annual plant to be artificially prolonged by cloning. All sorts of theories pop up — transcription errors, mutations, rip-offs, you name it. It is the Internet, after all. After personally examining some of the plants in question, it is obvious to Mr. Jones that something is happening here but he doesn’t know what it is, to paraphrase St. Bob of Dylan. The clones are not just like the mother plant that he still has. Maybe there is something to this genetic drift idea.
Right concept, wrong name There is something happening to the clones over time, and the term ‘genetic drift’ seems apt. The clones seem to ‘drift’ away from their genetic mother plant as far as the phenotype is concerned. But the term ‘genetic drift’ is already in use for a different genetic phenomenon. Genetic drift is a term which describes a change in the genetic makeup of a population over time due to random sampling. This trend has to do with sexual reproduction in a population affected by chance, not the asexual reproduction that clones represent. So what causes this ‘drift’ seen by so many of us?
Mutation? Mutation is not driving this observable change. Mutations are sudden, random changes to an organism’s DNA. Since we are dealing with a population of independent clones that have genetically identical DNA, a mutation would only affect an individual and that plant’s offspring. Mutations occur and have been documented in Cannabis clones. However, this is not what’s happening with the clones as there are 32
widespread, varying subtle differences between the clones and the mother plant.
Over-cloning, Transcription Errors and the Lifespan Theory Cannabis is an annual herb which, in nature, depends upon its seeds to sprout the next generation of plants. Some people theorize that it is somehow unnatural and stressful to keep cloning a plant over and over. It seems plausible that there might be small errors that might accumulate in the DNA over many iterations of cloning. If the plant is normally an annual, might it somehow become ‘tired’ of living many years past its normal lifespan? Not likely. There is no genetic timer ticking away that signals the plant to die after a certain period of time, with the exception of auto-flowering Cannabis plants. It is environmental change, particularly the photoperiod, which triggers flowering and the ultimate death of the plants. Clones growing in an 18- to 24-hour day will just keep growing; cells will divide and differentiate indefinitely. Even a flowering plant can revert back to vegetative growth by switching from the flowering photoperiod back to a long day. There is no genetic time-bomb to worry about. So what is going on?
Epigenetics What could be happening is phenotypic plasticity. This is the phenomenon of genetically identical organisms, in this case the cup-winning mother plant and its clones, changing appearance and properties without the actual DNA being altered in response to the environment the organisms develop in. This is an example of epigenetic change. Epigenetics, as a process, governs the expression or repression of traits in response to the environment. While the SATIVAMAGAZINE.COM
actual DNA does not get altered, the expression or repression of traits can change. A good example of an epigenetic change is taking two clones from a mother plant and putting them in two quite different environments. One is put in a shady forest at sea level on the Oregon coast, subjected to abundant moisture and mild temperatures. The other is put in a mountain meadow at 8,000 feet above sea level in Colorado, subject to high winds, low humidity and cold nighttime temperatures. Being raised in such different environments is going to create a unique appearance for each plant as well as differences in quality and quantity of their harvests. Instead of using the term genetic drift to describe this process, it is more accurate to call it phenotypic plasticity.
Clonal degeneration Another very real possibility to explain many cases of these observed changes in clones over time is what is referred to in horticultural science as clonal degeneration. Though there is no evidence to support the belief that the process of cloning somehow causes plants to wind down over time, the techniques involved in making cuttings present opportunities for a variety of plant pathogens to infect the clones. Viruses, bacteria and other pathogens can enter plants by insects, cutting tools, and other means. Though not necessarily fatal, accumulations of these organisms will, over time, affect the plant’s overall health and subsequently alter its appearance and qualities.
Reversible? It follows that if we cloned the two plants mentioned above and again swapped locations, the clones would again change in appearance and environmentally-dependent properties. The Oregon clone would change in the Colorado SATIVAMAGAZINE.COM
environment to resemble the Colorado form and vice versa. However, not all changes that occur epigenetically are reversible. Some may persist and be expressed not only in subsequent clones, but also in offspring from sexual reproduction.
Practical applications Is it a waste of time to grow a clone from an incredible plant if it might not be the same grown in your conditions? Not necessarily. If you are growing the same way as the originator — the same lights, nutrients, temperatures, etc. — there should be only the slightest differences between your clone and the original. On the other hand, if the cup winner was grown outdoors in a particular soil and you are growing a clone of it indoors with your own soil mix, it should be expected that there is going to be a distinct difference between the two plants. In respect to pathogens and clonal degeneration, time-honored sanitary practices are paramount in preventing or minimizing the opportunity for infection. Soaking cutting tools in a supersaturated solution of trisodium phosphate will kill pathogens, and flaming cutting tools between cuts is a highly recommended practice. Clean growing areas and equipment is a hallmark of a good grower. If you grow a clone in an ideal environment that really suits its genetic potential, you just might develop an individual superior to the original. Even if you don’t have the same environment and the plant doesn’t perform as hoped for, that doesn’t preclude the value of the clone for your breeding purposes. Assuming some big change has not become a permanent inheritable trait due to epigenetics — a reasonable assumption — the clone’s genome, or actual DNA, is still quite valuable to a breeder. So, buck up, Mr. Jones. Just think of the clones as Highway 61 Revisited. APRIL 2013 33
Social Seeds: Sell Your Seeds Through Social Media Marketing
Are you a small home grower with some killer strains? Maybe you’re growing the next Jack Herer or Girl Scout Cookies, but you don’t have any way to share your seeds with the world? One of your strains could be the next name that’s on everybody’s lips. Imagine orders pouring in from all over the world for your seeds. You might be thinking, no way, I’m way too small. But, no matter how small you are, all it takes today is a good product and a little effort to get the whole world talking about you. How, you might be asking yourself? Surely you’re on Facebook already. Even if you’re not, just about everybody else is. Facebook is the world’s largest social networking website with over a billion members. For the small home grower, social networking offers a great opportunity to promote your seeds and strains online, spread your genetics, and grow your business. In the last twenty years, social media websites like Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized the way the world communicates. And the revolution is far from over, with more people and sites jumping on the bandwagon every day. The 2012 Nielsen Social Media Report revealed just how big social networking really is: • Nearly 100 percent of the U.S. population
now has access to the Internet, either through a computer or mobile device. • Total time online in 2012 was up 20 percent from the year before in the U.S. • Mobile web usage was up 82 percent from the year before. • A little over half of the U.S. population uses social networking sites and apps right now with more joining every day. • Time spent on social apps increased 76 percent and consumers spent seven times more minutes on social apps than on the mobile web. • Social networks dominate Internet usage, with 20 percent of computer time and 30 percent of mobile web time spent on them. So, what does that have to do with growing a business? Free to join, with an audience of well over a billion worldwide, social media is not just an ideal marketing platform for small businesses, it’s a necessary tool for achieving your full potential. Word-of-mouth has always been important, but with the advent of social media, “The Word” is being spread quicker and to an exponentially larger audience all the time, making word-of-
By Franklin Ewing Illustration by Emily Cain mouth more important than ever. A negative image can spread so quickly that it can be an overnight disaster. But a positive image can spread just as fast, so it’s important to carefully shape your online image and get people saying good things about you. Although social media marketing is still a new frontier, there are already a few guidelines to follow to put this powerful tool to work for you.
#1. Get online!
It might seem to go without saying, but you have to have an online presence to put social media marketing to work for you. Even if you don’t have any online presence yet, have no fear, it’s easier and less expensive than you think to get online. First things first, get a website. There are lots of sites offering free websites, and most will even help you build your site if you’re just getting started. The one problem with these sites is that you don’t get a unique personalized domain name, you have to share. An inexpensive alternative is purchasing your own domain name and hosting from a site like www.godaddy.com. Your website
is your online storefront, so you’re image is important; the more you invest — of both time & money — the better your site will likely be. Another great place to list your seeds online, in addition to your website, is www.seedbay. com. As its name suggests, Seedbay is basically the Ebay of Cannabis seeds, an auction site where anybody can go to auction or sell their seeds. Simply complete their short registration process and you can auction your seeds with an optional “Buy It Now” price. Ship Seedbay your prepackaged seeds and they will discreetly ship them to the buyer. There are other Cannabis seed auction sites, but overall Seedbay has the best reputation. For unknown
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For the small home grower, social networking offers a great opportunity to promote your seeds and strains online, spread your genetics, and grow your business.
breeders, this is a great place to market new strains and grow a reputation for yourself.
#2. Branch Out
The best marketing strategy is a comprehensive one, with several outlets. It’s up to you to decide which social media outlets are right for you, but it’s important to keep up with what’s trending now. Facebook is the world’s largest social networking site; so if you’re just getting started on social media marketing, that’s the place to start. They offer free brand pages to businesses, and, for a fee, Facebook ads. While Facebook may be the world’s largest social networking platform, it’s far from the only one. Blog sites and Twitter have the next biggest audience, but Google+ and Pinterest are growing fast, especially Pinterest. Blogging can be a great draw, but creating content can be time consuming and expensive. If you don’t have the time or resources for blogging, Twitter may be a better fit for you; using hashtags such as #SativaMagazine with your business name is a simple yet effective way to get noticed. Also, just this past month Twitter announced their addition of Twitter ads, big news for social media marketers. Sites like Pinterest and Youtube can be wonderful places to post pictures and videos of your seeds, plants and buds and link them back to your main page. These are called “backlinks” and they’re important because they grow your web presence and they also affect your pages ranking in search engine
results. The more of these backlinks to your page there are across the internet, the more popular search engines determine your page to be, thus your page will appear more frequently and closer to the top of search results. This is all part of the process of optimizing your page for the best possible ranking in search results called Search Engine Optimization or S.E.O. If you’re just getting started, S.E.O. may seem complicated, but as you’re establishing your internet presence it is an important process to begin learning about.
#3. Get Noticed
The secret is getting noticed on a consistent basis without overwhelming your audience. You don’t want to be so in their face that it turns them off, but you have to be where they can see you. Whatever social media outlets you choose, be sure to post every day, but not too much. Two or three daily posts will keep you on your audience’s radar without taking over their feed. Also, make sure your posts are short, simple and catchy or else they won’t get your target audience’s attention. A great way to do this is through pictures. Picture apps are all the rage right now. People everywhere are in love with Instagram and Pinterest, and it’s easy to see why. A picture is worth a thousand words, and simple, short posts draw the most attention; what could be simpler, while still speaking volumes, than a picture? Your Facebook cover image is important, since it’s the first thing visitors see and we all know
how important first impressions are. Your cover image should convey the image you want to establish for your business and include some faces to humanize it; a recent study by Mashable. com found that pictures with faces attracted more attention. Having a list of your strains with pictures and descriptions is another great way to attract traffic to your page. Contests can be another great way to draw visitors. They don’t have to be complicated and the prizes don’t have to be huge; as a matter of fact, the same study by Mashable.com revealed that simple contests with several small prizes draw more participation than contests with one or two large prizes. Also, contests can be an amazing source of high quality, user submitted content for your social media outlets, which brings us to our next point.
#4. Protect Your Image
Just as important as getting noticed is projecting the right image for your business. It’s important for your pages and posts to stand out from the rest. Great pictures make great attention catching posts, but make sure they’re always related to your business and do the same with all your other posts. Unrelated or boring content drives people away. Utilizing user submitted content like photos
and reviews is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to keep your content fresh and interesting. A great way to collect that content is by inviting customers who purchase your seeds to submit pictures of their grow and final product and invite them to leave reviews and comments. Encourage your customers to send you higher quality images by holding photo contests. However, it’s important to maintain control over what goes onto your page for others to see; it’s never a good idea to let just anybody post directly to your page for the public to view. In the long run, it’s up to you to put social media marketing to work for you and your business, but the bottom line is, you need it if you want to reach your full potential. There are even businesses out there who will develop an entire social media marketing campaign for you, but for most small businesses that isn’t financially feasible. With a little hard work and research, you can put together a very effective social media marketing campaign for little or no cost. The first step is simply to get online, check out what social networking is all about and decide which outlets might be right for your business. So, if you’re not already online and using social media marketing, get networking and maybe next year, it’ll be one of your strains that everybody is talking about.
With a little hard work and research, you can put together a very effective social media marketing campaign for little or no cost.
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FENCE A VIEW FROM THE
SOIL VERSUS HYDROPONICS By Paul Josephs 38
This matchup would have been great for a Cannabis grower’s version of MTV’s Celebrity Death Match. In all seriousness, there has been much discussion and debate regarding the two choices of how to grow indoors. Let’s compare common concerns like cost, growth speed, yield, quality and effort needed, as well as potential problems to help you decide what works best for you given your unique circumstances and desires.
The Benchmark This is really a comparison of the two styles of indoor growing as compared to growing outdoors in full sunlight and in a rich, sandy loam soil. The latter method is the benchmark to which all other growing techniques are compared. No one who has witnessed a flowering Cannabis plant growing well outdoors can argue that the yields and quality produced are not of the highest order, all other conditions being equal. Sadly, this is not an option for many of us, so we are left to debate how we can grow the absolute best Cannabis in an indoor environment.
Soil and Hydroponic: What’s The Difference? Let’s start with some definitions. Soils are mineral and organically-derived components mixed together. Naturally occurring soils vary greatly in composition. For the purposes of this article we will be limiting ourselves to premixed soil mixes available at stores offering gardening supplies, and custom soil mixes, which are comprised of a variety of ingredients, including some nutrient-bearing organic components. Plants should be able to obtain some, if not all, of their nutritional needs from soil. Growers can add fertilizer to
provide nutrients when they are lacking. Hydroponics is the growing of plants in which aerated water or mist alone supplies all of the nutrients. Plants can be grown this way with the roots either anchored in an inert, usually inorganic, medium, or completely exposed to water or mist. There are many variations on this basic theme, but the common aspect is the inert medium which requires that growers provide for all the nutritional needs of the plants with nutrient solutions.
Organic Or Not? This is a complex a topic which will be examined in future articles. Growers who use soil have a choice of nutrients from completely synthetic to completely organic. Hydroponic growers more often use synthetic nutrients, but hydroponic growing can also be organic.
Cost Both soil and hydroponic systems have a wide range of associated costs which are tied to many variables. The cost of a soil system is largely about the soil itself and will differ if the soil is purchased pre-mixed versus if the various components are bought separately and mixed by the grower. Some growers using organic soil mixes reuse the soil to keep costs down. There is a wide spectrum of hydroponic systems available from automated high tech systems to basic passive ones, and the costs reflect that range. If you have a do-it-yourself approach and a creative eye in the hardware store, it is possible to set up a variety of hydroponic systems quite inexpensively. The initial cost will usually be higher than pots and
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The Breeding Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • soil, but once purchased and if using a medium which can be reused, the continuing cost will be only the nutrients and any extra electricity needed for the system. Aside from the initial product investment, the two methods have similar upkeep costs over time.
per plant than their water-based brethren, but can take steps to increase their growth rates and yields by employing large volume pots or growbags. These large containers take up room, however, and that can factor into the total yield per square foot of growing area.
All other variables being equal, plants grown in well-maintained hydroponic systems usually will outperform plants in soil. This is because the roots are exposed to an ideal combination of moisture, air and nutrients. Everything is readily available to the plant, so it can devote more energy into growth and flowering. Plants will grow faster and yields are usually greater in the hands of a skilled grower who knows what nutrient levels are ideal for the plant. This is true for both soil and hydroponic growing. This skill and expertise is easier to achieve for an observant grower with a hydroponic system. The cause and effect of nutritional changes appear sooner with hydroponics, making it easier to correct adverse reactions. Conversely, soils tend to buffer or mitigate changes in nutrients and water chemistry, which will often obscure the actual cause of the observed changes.
Yield Since plants generally grow faster in a hydroponic system than in soil, the hydroponic grow room will produce more yield over time. There is generally also more yield realized per plant grown hydroponically. In comparison, skilled soil growers can expect to see less yield
Here we delve into arguably the most subjective and contentious aspect of the hydro versus soil debate. Many soil growers, especially organic growers, swear that there is a definite difference in taste between soil grown Cannabis and its hydroponically-grown counterpart. Hydroponic growers claim this is baseless. As noted earlier, this is subjective. Both techniques do benefit from reducing or eliminating fertilizer in the last few weeks of flowering to ‘flush’ excess nutrients from the plants, as it is beneficial to the curing process and taste if the plant has metabolized the nutrients.
Effort Growing Cannabis takes effort, regardless of growing style. Hopefully it is seen as a labor of love. For soil growing, there is the procuring of mixes, potting and repotting the plants, and religiously checking the plants for water. The actual amount of effort needed for hydrating your plants varies in frequency depending on the size of containers as well as the temperature and humidity of the grow room. When the crop is finished, the soil mix must be disposed of or reused, and the containers cleaned and possibly sterilized. Soil mixes can be messy to work with.
For hydroponics, there are nutrient and pH levels to be monitored, equipment and, if used, media to clean after a crop, and checking for leaks and malfunctioning components like pumps. Due to the multiple ways hydroponics can be utilized, there is a wide range of effort associated with the different techniques. Some automated setups can operate for many days without any attention on the part of the grower, and some of the simpler methods may require daily or even more frequent attention as far as watering is concerned.
Equipment failures — systems that rely upon pumps, timers, float valves, switches and other components that could fail are vulnerable, and Murphy’s Law seems to have a particular affinity for mechanical systems. Leaks happen as well, as is illustrated by the grower who was away on vacation when mice gnawed through the water tubing and drained the whole system down. Since his lights stayed on, the entire crop dried to a crisp. Soil techniques, except for the automated cases noted earlier, are exempt from this concern.
Both soil and hydroponic methods require some common tasks such as raising lights and checking plants for pests, pathogens and nutrient-related problems.
Water/soil chemistry problems — pH swings and nutrient imbalances can happen quickly in hydroponic setups, sometimes resulting in a ‘system crash’ where one imbalance causes a cascade effect which causes the nutrient mix to become deadly for the plants. Soil mixes are not immune to this either, but because of the buffering effect of the soil, it is a much slower and therefore more easily remedied process. Some nutrients can substantially change the pH of soil which can in turn affect the ability of the plant to absorb nutrients. Both soil and hydroponic methods are susceptible to overfertilizing which, in extreme cases, can be fatal.
Potential pitfalls Let’s look at a few disaster scenarios and see how the two techniques fare. Power outages — depending on the length, these could be disastrous for the more highly automated hydroponic setups, especially ebb-and-flow, bubbler, and aeroponic systems that depend on water and/or air pumps to operate. If it is a long enough outage and the grower is away, the plants could dry out and possibly even die. Soil grown plants usually depend on the grower for watering, but not always — there are automated drip systems and even watering systems for plants grown in soil, and a power outage could be equally disastrous. No matter which method you’re using, the plants will still suffer the effects of light loss, which include slowed growth and stress-related flowering problems like sex reversal.
So — soil or water? Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference. Both methods have their staunch advocates, precisely because they both have many strong points. As the peace-loving members of the tribe, let’s agree to each his own and change the “death match” to a love fest. And pass the Doritos.
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GROWING your future Part One: Getting Started You’ve got your medical Cannabis card or live in a state where it’s legal and you want to start growing. We can help! If you have never grown Cannabis before, you are in for a treat. Cannabis is very easy to grow and a serenely beautiful plant to nurture. This series will take you through the fun, easy and rewarding process of growing your own Cannabis. We will start out with the basics involved in getting a growing area set up to meet your needs. In future installments we will learn about germinating seeds, growing plants, inducing how to handle flowering, harvesting, drying, trimming and curing your own personal Cannabis.
Where, what, how, why and when? When is easy — right now is a great time to start! If you aren’t already growing, let’s start now. Why is easy too, it can be much more economical to grow your own, and you have complete control over what happens to your plants and what goes into or onto them. What varieties to grow will depend on your personal preference, tempered by the situation you have as far as available space is concerned. How will be covered in the following installments of this series. But for now, lets focus on the where and get a suitable area prepared for growing some cute seedlings into scrumptious nuggs.
Determine your size Not everyone has a big basement, unused room, garage or outbuilding to fill with plants,
and there are specific regulations in each state that does allow medical Cannabis or legal recreational Cannabis cultivation concerning the number of immature and mature flowering plants an individual can grow. Please check the regulations where you live.
Options Lets assume you don’t have a lot of room. You can look around your apartment, condo or home and pick a spot that has these features: access to electricity for lights and fans, can be made private (not that the plants are shy, but they do need their beauty sleep to flower well), and allows relatively easy access to the space and the plants inside. A spare room would be fantastic and if you have one, use it. Some dwellings have spaces or closets under staircases and those are often a good option. Closets work well as they may have electrical outlets and a door already in place. Sheds can be used as well, especially in milder climates. If you don’t have these spaces available there are a lot of grow tents available on the internet and they are an excellent option.
Prepare your space — protection Protecting your house or apartment from potential problems is best handled proactively. You don’t want the carpet or flooring to get damaged or stained, so take some preventive steps. Putting plastic sheets or plywood directly on the floor seems like a good idea, but often
By Paul Josephs Photo by Irie Genetics
humidity can condense underneath and cause mold or mildew problems. Put a few blocks of wood or plastic under some trays or plywood to allow air to circulate underneath. If possible paint the walls with a few coats of white paint, this will protect the walls, can be easily wiped down to clean and most importantly will reflect valuable light back onto your lightloving plants.
Lighting There are a lot of options out there with some new technologies emerging. It’s best to stick with tried and true methods if you are just starting out, and then try other techniques as you get more experience and have a benchmark to compare with. Most growers use High Intensity Discharge Lighting (HID) These come in two types, High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH). Plants use all but the green part of the visible light spectrum for growth. The spectrum is seen in the rainbow after a rainstorm — red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The bluer part of the spectrum encourages vegetative growth, and the redder part of the spectrum promotes flowering. Generally, HPS lamps emit a light color biased toward the warmer red to yellow side of the light spectrum and MH lamps emit a whiter light biased toward the bluer end of the light spectrum. Both can be used for the entire growth cycle of the plants with good
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The Breeding Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • results. There is a lot of information on the web to look at to help your decision. How much wattage of a lamp you will need depends on how much area needs to be illuminated. As a guideline, plan on one and one-half square feet of floor area per mature plant. Since I have yet to grow a square plant, think of 18 inch circles overlapping somewhat. I can grow my three allowed mature plants easily in my nine square foot area — four would fit if allowed. Generally four square feet needs a 175 to 250 watt system, nine square feet a 400 watt system and 16 to 25+ square feet need a 1000 watt system. Figure out a way to hang the light so it can be easily raised and lowered. You will find this very important, so look at pulleys or other ways to do this. There’s nothing worse than dropping a hot light fixture onto your plants when struggling with raising or lowering it.
Temperature and air movement Most larger HID systems have a ballast, or transformer that is separated from the light reflector by a power cord. These generate a fair amount of heat, as do the lamps themselves. If you are growing in a cold basement or unheated crawl space you might welcome that heat. If not, consider moving the ballast outside the room or tent. A fan is crucial to generate gentle air movement in the room. Fans can also be used to vent the space to keep temperatures reasonable. 70 to 85 degrees is ideal for optimal growth and lowers the stress of your plants. Some lights have vented reflectors that can be used with flexible ducting and an in-line fan to remove excess heat from the lamp.
Containing the light This is a two-way street. You may want to keep the light in your room from leaking out for a number of reasons — glare on your awesome TV screen, keeping you up at night, avoiding questions from certain visitors or children —
you get the idea. You are paying for the light, so keep it where it is most useful. It is also equally important to keep light from getting into your room from outside, as the plants require complete darkness during their dark cycle to prevent problems with flowering.
Soil or hydroponics? We are going to grow in soil in this series. It is the only way I have ever grown Cannabis and in the last few years I have committed to growing organically. It’s my personal choice, some of my friends grow hydroponically and kid me about it. It’s all good, just a matter of preference. There is a lot of information on the web and in bookstores and libraries about hydroponics if that is the way you choose to grow. The basics of Cannabis cultivation are the same regardless of whether the plant is growing in soil or a soilless medium and will be covered in this series.
Do a dry run Get your room, closet, tent or creative space set up before you start growing. Run the lights, make it easy to adjust the height. Put a thermometer in the room to see what temperature range the room experiences and adjust the ventilation accordingly. Check to see how much light escapes out of and into your room. Make it tidy as far as cords and equipment are concerned. The more prepared the room is before you start actually growing in it the easier it will be on you and your plants.
Next Month We will discuss how to prepare a suitable soil mix and germinate seeds. There will be an overview of different Cannabis varieties and growth patterns to be aware of. We will also learn more about Cannabis cultivation in the vegetative stage. Get your grow space ready and get excited!
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By Paul Josephs 46
CONSIDERATIONS FOR SEED PRODUCTION
experienced growers are intimidated by the new variables introduced when one wants to produce their own seeds. Whether producing seeds affects the growing period is just one common question that often arises. While the quick answer is usually not, there are some variables you should be aware of in order to plan your growth cycle accordingly. But that’s not a very helpful answer. So let’s look at those variables and get specific answers that are. ven some
General Factors Cannabis seeds can take anywhere from 17 to 35 days to mature on the plant. Allowing them to mature sufficiently is critical as harvesting too early can result in seeds which cannot germinate. Both environmental and genetic factors influence the specific amount of time required to produce mature seeds. The other factor to consider is an environmental one. The higher the temperature the quicker seeds mature. Conversely, in the winter when room temperatures drop seed maturation requires a few extra days. The only way to know how genetics affect the maturation period is by first hand experience and, even then, there are subtle differences. One strain I’ve worked with for a few generations has both a sativa and an intermediate indica/ sativa phenotype. The sativa phenotype produces mature seeds in three weeks while the mixed phenotype takes four weeks. Not only do they produce seeds of different size with various degrees of mottled spots and stripes, the sativa
phenotypes produce much smaller seeds with less pronounced markings. You’ll have to experiment to find out how the distinct genetics of each strain produces a unique seed maturation timeline. We can expect the process to fall in the range stated above, and we can work within that range until we get firsthand experience with specific strains.
Specific examples A hobby breeder looking for a small to medium seed crop: This person wants to make a few dozen seeds for their breeding project. Having some seedless buds to evaluate and smoke would be a bonus. We’ll examine a scenario on the quicker end of the grow spectrum by looking at a 60 day growth cycle. Because we can’t yet know with certainty how long it is going to take and there is no strain-specific chart for seed maturation times, lets plan on 28 days for the seeds to mature. That leaves 32 days to let the plant flower before pollination. That is down to the wire so lets subtract five days for a cushion at the end of the cycle just to be safe. This leaves us with 27 days of flowering. This should allow for quite a few pistils to be available for pollination. If we control the pollination by taking the male plant out of the room and using homemade pollen bags - thin paper bags with pollen in them slipped over and secured to a few flowering branches for 48 hours - we can allow the rest of the flowers to develop without seeds. In this scenario a very high percentage of seeds will be mature at the regular harvest time, effectively allowing
APRIL 2013 47
The Breeding Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
seed production without lengthening the flower time. A commercial breeder looking for maximum seed production for breeding projects and/or sale: This is a person who is going to gauge when the largest quantity of healthy pistils are exhibited and then pollinate all at once for the maximum seed count. The best time is when just a very few pistils have started to wither and darken and are no longer able to allow fertilization. As the plant gets further into its flowering cycle the pistils start to wither with increasing frequency. Pollinating all at once is best done by collecting pollen from a male kept outside the room and then releasing it over the whole plant. With this method the seeds should all mature within a few days of each other. However, the time of peak viable pistil production could well occur after the 32 days mentioned in the previous example. For example, the plant could take 40 days to produce the largest quantity of pistil and then the 60 day grow cycle will be extended an additional 8 days, possibly more if any of the 5 buffer days planned for in the first scenario are required.
OK. How about different strains? Lets look at the example of a mostly sativa strain. Here the longer flowering time is an advantage because seeds can mature before the flowering process is complete. A hobbyist breeder can still use the selective pollination technique to limit seed production with pollen bags. On the other hand, seed breeders can allow the male to release pollen over a several week period in the same room without extending the normal flowering time while still still getting maximum amounts of viable mature seed when the plant is harvested.
How to tell when seeds are mature Seeds develop in the calyx. As they get larger they often can be seen as they open up part of the calyx. Often they are green when first noticed but will darken as they mature. As a general rule, the darker brown the seed, the more likely it is to be viable. Many seeds exhibit ‘tiger’ or ‘zebra’ striping of dark brown or black markings on the seed covering once mature. There are strains that do have mature greenish or light gray seeds, but this is a small exception to the general rule.
ully mature seeds will not be attached to the plant but simply held in place by the surrounding calyx tissue. If the calyxes begin to dry and shrink a few seeds may fall to the ground on their own or if the plant is jostled. If you try to remove a seed still in the calyx and feel a slight snap, it was still attached to the plant and might not be viable. If you have to harvest seeds not quite ready you can often allow them to continue maturing if large branches are kept intact.
Storing seeds Seeds store well in airtight, dark containers kept in a cool location. If there is a chance that moisture could get in the container, adding a few grains of uncooked rice to the container is a cheap and effective insurance against unplanned germination or mold issues. Seeds can be frozen in an sealed, airtight container, but once thawed should be used quickly. They also store well in the same type of container in a refrigerator. I keep mine in glass jars in cupboards, and have had seeds that were over 12 years old stored this way germinate with a very high success rate. It is essential to perform a test germination of every batch to make sure the seeds are viable before selling them.
Jim Beans on
Male Selection When it comes to choosing your stud, there’s one main thing you should be shooting for — a goal, so to speak. You should be trying to make a contribution to the cannabis gene pool and not just make another mutt for the sake of making some seeds to call yourself a breeder. It takes a keen eye and a bit of knowledge to select the right guy for the job. One great thing to start with is a good set of true breeding parents, meaning that each parent contributes certain genetics that can almost be counted on to be in the next generation. Something like a pure Cindy99 or a pure Afghan hash plant like Deep Chunk. You know that the Deep Chunk is going to pass on major resin production and a nice stout structure with very sturdy stems. The stud has to live up to a bunch of standards and meet each of the outlined criteria for him to even be considered, in my opinion. Seeing as we can’t smoke this guy, another good indicator will be his twin sister. Something with which you can sample the high, taste, and resin production — always a good indicator, and something I try to do with all my males. So once the guys start showing themselves, as they will do before the females ever pop their heads out, I like to take them to the male tent on the other end of the house. This is where the first round of selecting males is done. Right off
We want the plant that we were hoping would be female from first sight. the bat if the guy is shooting above the tops of the other plants and looking stringy, it’s culled. Structure - What I’m looking for structure-wise is the standout plant from the beginning, the one that right from the pop was the one you had your eye one. You want nice tight nodes, as we aren’t looking for fiber production here, so we don’t want the long lanky fellas. We want the plant that we were hoping would be female from first sight. Nice thick stems are also a plus in my eyes, seeing as how in females “thick stems make thick buds.” Hollow-stemmed is also a major bonus. Tests have confirmed higher concentrations of THC in hollow-stemmed females. So while I’m pulling the males out, and during growth before this, I’m rubbing the stems of each guy, right where the woody part ends on the mature parts of the plant and it gets a little rubbery. I’m looking for a dank smell. And this is where your goal comes into play. What you are looking for? Smell - Iconic breeder DJ Short believes the female contributes the taste and odor of a plant,
Photo courtesy of Verified Genetics
APRIL 2013 51
The Breeding Issue
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whereas the male contributes the amount of taste and odor. So this is something I have always taken into consideration when selecting my males. As we can always smoke our females, we can always count on what taste may be passed on by her. So I always use a male whose female sisters are known to have super strength in the THC department.
I always use a male whose female sisters . . . have super strength in the THC department.
Another major thing to look for in males is stability, and that’s before I flip ’em to 12/12 as well as after. I don’t want a male who is dropping pollen because of a light drought, or because he’s under-fertilized. So these are things I intentionally put these guys through. They get no nutrients for the first part of their life; I like to see what they have inside ’em before I start pumping them full of love. Another thing I look for while they are in 12/12 is the absence of white pistils. I don’t want a male that is showing female flowers, as that trait could later be passed on to further generations. I’m looking to make stable breeds here.
just need to ensure that the maximum number of white pistils are pollinated with enough time to ripen the beans inside the buds. What I like to do is introduce the male for a full 5 days and let him do his thing with the ladies. With good air circulation you will have fully seeded buds in no time. Then I like to take him back to the tent and finish out flowering so that i can see his bud structure.
Stress testing - So I’ll put these guys through hell before they get to throw any pollen in any of my rooms. Afterward, if they can stand everything I throw at them, they get to do their thing. Early flowers and any kind of stress flowers means that male is culled immediately. We want stability in our boys. What I personally like to do is flower out the male in a separate area and introduce him into the flower room when I’m ready for him. That way I can control when the females are pollinated and I can assure the most mature seed. Usually around the 2-3 week mark on most females is the sweet spot. Then I’ll push the females to about 9 weeks as I want about 45 days of maturation time for the seeds to be fully ripened. You can push it further if you know the plant will mature past ten weeks, you
Bud Structure - I’m looking for nice tight clusters of male flowers. In my years of breeding I have seen the male contribute more to the production side of things. So if airy clusters mean airy buds, it may be important to start with a male from a high yielding strain. A few other breeders agree with me on this subject so it’s something that i have always tried to employ. At the end of the day though there is only one true way to know what a male has in store, and that’s to use him and to grow out his progeny. See what his seeds have in store, and see how he combined with known females. After using him and growing out his seeds you should be able to tell what he’s bringing to the table, and if he’s a stud worth keeping around. There are certain breeders that have found their certain male and have used it over and over again like Subcool and his Space Queen stud deemed “Space Dude” to make a huge number of killer hybrids. He now knows exactly what that male is doing in each cross.
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A FOND REMEMBRANCE
By Karen E. Szabo
For the educated ganjapreneur, hearing the words Acapulco Gold triggers a trip down memory lane. Despite not even knowing the mastermind behind the strain nor its genetic forefathers, Acapulco Gold is notably recognized as one of the best Sativa strains in the history of Cannabis. The sheer classical beauty with the perfect combination of gold, green and brown tones emits a spicy yet somewhat fruitful scent, which, when consumed, provides an almost instant, near psychedelic high. The strain came out of Acapulco, Mexico and surrounding areas in the 1960’s. The regions’ ideal climate for outdoor growing allowed the plant to thrive in its natural habitat. However, as with many other one of a kind Cannabis strains from south of the border, Acapulco Gold quickly became more and more obsolete when cocaine smuggling took over the trafficking routes from Mexico into the United States. Closed routes weren’t the only threat though, not by a long shot. In 1975, the Government of Mexico began an aerial spraying program to destroy Cannabis fields with paraquat,
a poisonous herbicide, bringing Acapulco Gold to near extinction. But not before leaving quite the legacy. Not only has Acapulco Gold received well-deserved recognition, the strain has been mentioned by name throughout American popular culture. In the first season of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” host Desi Arnaz, Jr. thanked the SNL crew for giving him a box of Acapulco Gold cigars. Although not specifically mentioned in Led Zeppelin’s recorded version of “Over the Hills and Far Away,” during live performances Robert Plant would frequently insert the phrase into the song “I live for my dreams and a pocketful of gold…Acapulco Gold” as if clarifying to his audience on a specific dream of his. In their Cheech & Chong debut in the 1978 film “Up in Smoke” Cheech Marian and Tommy Chong mentioned Acapulco Gold several times throughout the movie. In fact, at one point seeds of Acapulco Gold are even shown. However, the recognition goes past references in mass media. Acapulco Gold clothing company is named specifically after the strain. Additionally, author Edwin Corley wrote
a novel regarding how American big businesses might prepare for legalization and commercialization of Cannabis cigarettes and titled his book, “Acapulco Gold.” The strain continues to receive recognition, most notably by the international Cannabis breeding community. In 2010 Acapulco Gold from Amnesia Seeds won first place Sativa Cup at the world renowned High Times Cannabis Cup held annually in Amsterdam. Acapulco Gold will leave her patients feeling creative, euphoric, happy and uplifting, while aiding in the relief of depression, anxiety, stress and social anxiety. Somewhat debatable and likely never to be factually proven is how Acapulco Gold came by the namesake. Some people claim that the “gold” represents the golden color of the buds. Others say it simply refers to the fact that the exceptional quality of that particular Sativa strain demands a higher price than most others. Some balk at the premium prices for the seeds available on the internet today but their popularity prove the pleasure of experiencing authentic Acapulco Gold is a price well worth paying.
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Breeder Spotlight • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
A Perfect Marriage: By Lux Cool Hot news from the seed business - The Dutch seed bank Magus Genetics has gone under the roof of Serious Seeds, where four of the former Magus strains have been taken over by Serious. Simon from Serious Seeds says about this spectacular coup: “We regard this as a perfect marriage of two small, but outstanding Dutch high-quality seed banks with fine selections of unique and highly individual Cannabis seed strains. Magus Genetics’ six superb strains wonderfully fit into our menu. Indeed, our two companies do share the same philosophy which is to produce and offer only a handful of selected high-grade strains that are very homogeneous and extraordinary in terms of potency and aroma, yielding something really special and charismatic. So for Serious Seeds and Magus Genetics, less is more when it comes to seed strain breeding. Throughout our whole existence, our companies have strictly stuck to the rule that we’d only release a new seed strain to the market if we are 100% convinced of its overall quality – in contrast to most of our competitors who use to permanently pump new “strains” into the market that are merely simple crosses of their own or in fact other seed banks. Making quick money, unfortunately, seems to be the determining breeding motivation for many seed banks today. Almost all of them instantly follow any new genetic hype on the market, hastily throwing respective “strains” into the market. But every time Serious Seeds and Magus Genetics bring out a new strain, the customers know it’s something precious that is
going to persist for years, even decades.” Many wonder how it came about that Gerrit, the owner and breeder of Magus Genetics, sold his company. For some time now, a family member has been severely ill which has made it difficult for him to focus, so he decided to take a timeout from the seed business. But he knew he needed someone capable of ensuring his precious Magus strains would persist well into the future and so he contacted his lifetime friend, Simon. Simon’s wholehearted agreement to the proposition relived Gerrit’s tension and sealed the future of Magus seeds. Unfortunately, for two of the six Magus strains it is too late. The mother plants of Exile and Biddy’s Sister has been lost at Magus Genetics, preventing these strains from being sold by Serious Seeds. The remaining Magus classics Warlock, Biddy Early, Double Dutch and Motavation will supplement and enrich the portfolio of Serious Seeds and can already be purchased from Serious Seeds. There’s also is a remainder of 2000 Exile seeds that will be offered for sale on the Serious Seeds website (seriousseeds.com), as well as a small quantity of Biddy’s Sister seeds that shall be given away as freebies on the English market. Warlock, Biddy Early, Double Dutch and Motavation are true classic Cannabis strains with loyal worldwide followings which have a tradition of documenting their excellence. For example, a German circle of growers which includes, amongst others, Mr. Power-Planter
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Serious Seeds & Magus Genetics Have United! and Ellis D., began using cultivation tests to verify the quality of strains offered by Magus Genetics right from the beginning. The quality of Magnus strains ensured they became loyal customers; as Mr. Power-Planter once said, “Warlock alone – the strain with which it all began at Magus Genetics back then – is a legendary variety straight out of Gerrit’s genetic treasure chest for which Simon’s competitors will envy him.” She ranks amongst the most potent strains available worldwide – Gerrit once reported that members of the American DEA had measured the THC content of confiscated Warlock plants at an unbelievable 29 percent. This impressive figure is not typical of Warlock strains, although they consistently possess above a 20 percent THC content. In addition, she gives off one of the strongest odors in both her living and dried form. If one opens a box with Warlock buds inside, the whole room instantly gets filled with a pungent aroma cloud. Mr. Power-Planter put Warlock, a Cannabis variety more closely related to indica, to the cultivation test in both its regular and feminized form. In both cases, the results were as extraordinary as one could expect from its reputation. Not only are the plants powerful, but they grow large bulbous buds. Mr. Power-Planter tested the Motavation strain as well. The effects of this mostly indica strain turned out to be extremely strong and narcotic. Mr. Power Planter described it as a “thick wad of cotton wool” wrapping itself around the brain cells. Motavation also has strong medical effects
– when she was still under development Gerrit gave a few test seeds to an Austrian grower who had asked for something indica with medical potential. Some months later he replied that he had named the strain “Medizin Power” and that it had become pretty popular among his circle of medical marijuana patient friends. So, at that stage of development, Gerrit himself called the strain “Medizin Power.” Double Dutch, another mostly indica variety, is a cross of Serious Seeds’ Chronic and Magus Genetics’ Warlock strains. Double Dutch produces massive flower chunks that sometimes need to be staked due to their heavy weight. Gerrit formerly reported that his plants had delivered yields of up to 140 grams and Ellis D. managed to achieve similar dimensions in his own grow room. The other special thing about Double Dutch is her captivatingly sweet aroma that reminds one of honey- sweet wildflowers, thanks to the Chronic parent that managed to leave its aroma trademark stamp on this strain. But, of course, Double Dutch also achieved high scores for superb potency and resin content. CONTINUED ON PAGE 73//
APRIL 2013 57
CASH Business Ideas for Seed Breeders
t one time, Cannabis seeds were an annoyance. They would weigh down a bag and taste just awful when smoked by mistake. Seeds were a waste of money, trash. Today, however, seeds hold the potential for producing both little green sprouts and big green dollars. Most seed strains are worth many times their weight in gold--a very profitable turn of events, indeed. What are some seed businesses doing now to make money and what exciting opportunities may become available in the future? Now
that new laws and regulations for Cannabis continue to evolve around the world, this is an auspicious time to consider these questions and the businesses that can be built around breeding and selling seeds. Ultimately, this may include the real possibility of a sustainable and exportable commodity that will increase our gross domestic product.
The current market
Several seed breeders market their seeds through medical dispensaries where they are sold to medical Cannabis patients only. Local regulations dictate exactly how seeds are packed and labeled for unique markets. Their labels indicate the intention for medical use only, often referencing the governing entity and regulation. Some seed outfits label their product as “souvenirs” that are not intended for germination where laws prohibit Cannabis cultivation. Laws regarding the sale, possession and cultivation of Cannabis are changing rapidly and vary at the local and state level--even in Washington and Colorado, the two states that allow the use of recreational Cannabis. With these rapidly changing regulations, responsible business owners must understand applicable laws wherever they intend to do business.
The future market
As details regarding the legality of Cannabis production, testing, packaging and sales unfold, it will become clearer exactly how seed breeders can realize profits. For the purposes of this article, we will assume the future will offer many ways to market and sell seeds. As such, the ideas presented here are based on the
By Paul Josephs and DandH Banks Illustration by Josh Clappe
APRIL 2013 61
premise that the businesses are operating in compliance with the law.
The current model
Cannabis seeds retail for as little as $1.50 to as much as $30 or more per seed. Dispensaries often offer seeds of their own crosses for test purposes and patient use at the low end of the price scale. Well-known seed breeders’ feminized seeds sell easily for $30 or more apiece. These are often brokered through seed banks, many of which can be found on the Internet. The international, national and state market for Cannabis seeds could expand dramatically in coming years.
Bringing it home again
Modern Cannabis breeding began in California in the 1960s. The strains developed then were exported to Canada and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, these strains were refined to produce modern Cannabis strains and a burgeoning seed market. Strain breeding never stopped in the United States, and as the laws relax here we will be able to regain our former status as the Mecca of modern Cannabis breeding. This is a big market to reclaim, and we have the genetic building blocks and knowhow to easily achieve that goal.
There are a number of specialized categories that are ripe for development in the upcoming seed market. Organic. The organic market is sure to be popular. The popularity of organic products is growing by leaps and bounds every year.
Look no further than your local grocery store’s expanding organic produce section for proof of that fact. Seeds produced from organically grown plants will appeal to many customers, and organic branding often fetches a higher price. Environmental. Niches could include seeds bred for growing outdoors in greenhouses and for different indoor growing styles. Seeds intended for outdoor growing could be marketed for the specific region and climate they are bred for--something not available now. Greenhouse varieties could cater to the need for long-season sativa strains that grow too large for practical indoor cultivation and flower well past the normal growing season outside. These high-octane strains are very desirable and in short supply--a fantastic situation for a product. Indoor strains. Varieties bred for SOG and SCrOG methods are popular with the grower who has limited space. Strains bred for low odor are desirable for situations where not everyone appreciates the distinctive bouquet of Cannabis. Strain-specific seeds. There is a demand for old-school genetics for which baby boomers still remember and yearn. The seed breeder who can offer old-style sativa strains that originated in Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Jamaica, Thailand and other exotic locales will find an eager market already in place. There is also a niche for offering the latest trends in breeding and the latest awardwinning strains. Old-school genetics and the latest and greatest wonder strains have plenty of market appeal.
Heritage strains. Heritage or heirloom strains should have a lot of potential. The breeder or broker could maintain stocks of seeds from original foundation strains and keep those genetics available on an ongoing basis. In addition to offering old classics such as Haze and Hash Plant, this would be a good outlet for a landrace collection--offering diverse genetics from Africa, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere that are valuable for breeding distinctive strains. Exotic strains are always appealing and in demand, and they also are important for maintaining a healthy gene pool. These Cannabis “heirloom strains” will be available in seed form just as seeds for heirloom fruit and vegetable strains are available today. The profit potential for the niche breeder is high. The breeder can wholesale his or her high-quality seed product to local retail establishments or seed banks. There should be the ability to earn from $2 to $10 or more per seed wholesale. The byproduct material remaining after seed extraction could be sold to producers of concentrates and edible Cannabis products for additional profit. Even at $2 a seed, 1,000 seeds would earn $2,000—and more if there are ways to capitalize on the deseeded byproduct material for additional income. If the seeds can be sold directly to the consumer for $15 a seed, that is $15,000 for 1,000 seeds! Another important benefit to the customer is that as the legal environment improves more open communication between the breeder and the buyer will develop, allowing for greater consumer confidence and trust.
Contract seed production
Not every breeder and grower will want to produce seeds of their strains on a large scale. Many very talented breeders have limited facilities with which to work their special magic. They can’t always continue to produce seeds of their best crosses, but they can have others do it for them. By supplying contracted seed producers with clones of original parent plants, these breeders can continue to control the production of seeds of their favorite highdemand crosses, while being free to continue with new breeding projects. The contract grower can grow just for the breeder and sell the seeds back to the breeder for $3 to $8 each. The breeder can then sell them directly or to a seed broker for whatever the market allows and keep the profit. This way, both parties are making money. The breeder may just want a flat fee for the rights to produce the seeds, and the rest of the proceeds go to the contract grower. As with all seed-production ideas, there can be profit made on the deseeded byproduct in addition to the seed sales.
Cannabis seeds are an attractive commodity. They are compact--a film canister holds several hundred seeds--and easy to store. If kept in a cool dark location, there should be high germination rates for at least two years. They are easy and inexpensive to ship, when sales are possible to customers at a distance. The cost to produce regular, non-feminized seeds is the same as it is to grow the plants, unless the flower cycle is extended by a week to CONTINUED ON PAGE 64//
APRIL 2013 63
//FROM PAGE 5
//FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
opportunity for the numerous growers in America and worldwide that are looking for ways to put food on their table at home and make sure the power stays on. The entire industry that surrounds Cannabis and Hemp is enormous. Hemp and Cannabis production are only a small part of the entire industry. We will continue to present ideas as the minds of society open to the realities of Cannabis and it’s many benefits and opportunities. I want to see a market for Cannabis seeds open worldwide. As the war on drugs collapses. This appears to be inevitable. Get ready. Seeds are about to get cool again!
allow maximum seed production. Feminized seeds take some extra labor to produce and, therefore, cost more, but those costs are recovered from the higher prices charged for feminized seeds. Seeds will be a desirable item for a Cannabis retailer to stock because of their long shelf life, compact size and inexpensive packaging. The seed seller can also offer books and supplies to assist seed-buying customers with their growing endeavors. As more and more people have the opportunity to legally grow Cannabis and realize how easy and rewarding it is, the demand for seeds will continue to increase.
This is an extremely exciting time for Cannabis breeders. In the not-so-distant future, an open market for quality seeds will exist at home and abroad. Michael Carter Marketing Director and Editor-in-Chief email@example.com
The ideas set forth here will be real opportunities for entrepreneurs. New jobs and income streams will proliferate and the Cannabis seed market promises considerable profits on a long-term basis.
Highdeas //FROM PAGE 12
traditional storage unit company. The advanced security and topnotch professional staff is not going to come cheap, but remember it’s these same features that will bring in premium rates. Technological advances give this old business model jet fuel potential to rocket off the profitability charts. Fire up. Available URLs: MiniDispensary.com TinyDispensary.com TiniDispensary.com DispensaryRenter.com DispensaryGarage.com UnitNumberGreen.com 99GreenRooms.com GreenRoom99.com PrivateGreenRoom.com PrivateGreenRooms.com ManyGreenBoxes.com PrivateDispensary.com
Stocks //FROM PAGE 17
agricultural plots where one can customize every aspect of the growth environment to provide optimum conditions for the specified plant. They are piloting their patent-pending product in Denver, CO, one of the hottest cities of the Cannabis revolution with Circle Fresh Farms. Their PharmPhex containers are expected to increase the availability of local fresh produce year round grown in an environmentally friendly manner. Their stock prices have been volatile over the past year and have depreciated by 38 percent since the November elections. But, given the hypersensitive nature of Cannabis plants, we predict the stock of this company will increase drastically in the years ahead as
medium- and large-scale Cannabis producers adopt their PharmPhex containers. Looking for More? Experienced investors with a business background and some discretionary time on their hands should consider acting as venture capitalists. With all the recent startups founded by passionate but inexperienced entrepreneurs, your expertise and experience are greatly needed. If you find a company with a strong vision, solid business plan, and talented employees that’s looking for new partners, perhaps you’re the one who can help make the venture a success.
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Heavens 2 Betsey A Compassionate Collective
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OG KUSH OG KUSH A mostly Sativa hybrid which is very popular throughout Southern California. Despite its name, this strain is not a “kush,” although it does possess some Indicia traits and is rumored to have some kush in its genetic heritage. OG Kush is very potent and has long-last psychoactive effects. Don’t pass this one up if you see it at a local dispensary.
MONKEY PAW Not a necessarily overwhelming smell (such as diesel), but still a fairly aromatic quality to it. A mix of deep musk with hints of tangy something is the only accurate description. Taste: very pronounced compared to the smell. Tastes of tang come through during the exhale, but the musty, earthy taste knocks you back at first. Immediate effect on the exhale. Start to feel it right away in the back of your eyes and, as a few more minutes progress, begins to spread to the cerebral part of the brain. Extremely good for a midday smoke when things needs to get done.
GROWN BY BUBBAKING, DETROIT, MI
DETROIT BUD DETROIT BUD From the depths of Motown comes this new strain with cross combinations so top secret we can’t even talk about them. What we can talk about is how it smokes. Two words — brilliant and elegant. This strain is quite possibly the smoothest, most mellow of them all, with select undertones of fruit and skunky dank sourness. Detroit is a place to keep an eye on in the coming months for Cannabis.
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CannaSense Campaign 2013 National Tour for Cannabis Freedom We the People deserve to know the truth about Cannabis and to take back the quality of life that this immoral prohibition took from us. We as a Nation must accept and embrace the industry and health opportunities that ending prohibition will provide.
Magus //FROM PAGE 57
Ellis D. also quickly became an ardent lover of Biddy Early, another mostly sativa strain, which, in his mind, is one of the best outdoors strains available worldwide. Overnight, she became the shooting star of the High Times Cannabis Cup 2003. Totally unknown to the seed market before, Biddy Early scored a great coup at first go. Despite being the only outdoorgrown weed in the sativa category it took second place, leaving many high-bred indoor strains behind! Biddy Early`s extreme citrus aroma and astoundingly strong potency hit the judges by surprise just as it did Ellis D. The following autumn Ellis D. cultivated a small late-start Biddy Early plant on his balcony that yielded 115 grams 2/8/11 of premium The global NCIAwclAd_v.1 4:00buds. PM Page 1 followings of these stellar varieties are relieved
to know that they will remain available through another prominent seed bank. These four former Magus strains are now sold under Serious Seeds label. Serious has recently designed uniform packaging for both the classic Serious and former Magus strains which contains a small booklet, plant photo and an individual product number. The Magus Genetics logo will no longer be used, but in the respective strain descriptions there is a hint that the strains were developed by Magus Genetics. Instead of the previous ten, there are now eleven seeds contained in one package of former Magus strains and, in doing so, their price has decreased a little bit under the roof of Serious Seeds.
The National Cannabis Industry Association is the only national trade association fighting for the cannabis industry on the federal level. Whether it's reforming criminal justice policy or the tax code, NCIA is working hard to defend and advance the interests of our growing industry. If youâ€™re a cannabis professional and want respected and effective representation on the national stage, join NCIA today! For more information, visit www.TheCannabisIndustry.org/join or call (202) 379-4861 National Cannabis Industry Association P.O. Box 78062 - Washington, D.C. 20013 SATIVAMAGAZINE.COM
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