HIGH TIMES is proud to announce the newest additions to our prestigious list of the world's greatest preservers and improvers of marijuana genetics.
La Plata Labs
La Plata Labs were started high in the mountains of La Plata County, Colorado, at 7,000 feet of elevation, when a group of skilled breeders came together to collect and create some of the strongest (and prettiest) marijuana strains in the world. La Plata’s first release was their Hybrid Series, consisting of Alien crosses, OG Kush hybrids and various Skunks that they’ve been stabilizing for years. They plan to release feminized versions of the Hybrid Series next.
We first noticed La Plata’s beautiful bud shots on Facebook and became determined to find out more about their prime pot varieties. Their Green Alien (Skunk x Lemon Alien) is a pungent, pure indica that flowers in eight to nine weeks. Big Skunk is an easy-to-grow strain that harks back to the days of Road Kill Skunk, with a strong, distinct scent that lingers on the tongue. As tasty as they are fine looking, La Plata strains are sure to delight growers and connoisseurs alike.
Scott founded Rare Dankness in 2010, but anyone who remembers the heyday of 1990s Internet cultivation sites like Overgrow.com will be familiar with him as “Moonshine Man” of the Devil’s Harvest Crew and Moonshine Seeds. He traded and shared genetics with the best of them -- and, to his credit, still does so to this day. “We can’t beat cancer or find a cure for the world’s sickness without openly sharing genetics and information,” Scott says.
Rare Dankness burst onto the scene with a first-place win for Best Sativa at the 2011 Cannabis Cup with their Moonshine Haze. Since then, they’ve racked up awards around the world, including many big wins by the dispensaries that grew out their strains. Their OG Ghost Train Haze even won the title of HIGH TIMES’ Strongest Strain on Earth in 2012 with a whopping 25.49% THC level!
In recognition of their latest honor, Scott says: “Everyone at Rare Dankness thanks HIGH TIMES and its supporters for paving the way and inspiring myself alongside many others into believing that we could (will) end the prohibition against cannabis. My dedication to this plant is a reflection of the inspiration you’ve provided.”
Like many Dutch children growing up, Karma, the breeder behind Karma Genetics, experimented with outdoor growing from an early age -- and after nurturing his first crop outside, he was hooked. Another Overgrow.com alumni, Karma traded clones and seeds online in order to develop a quiver of interesting breeding stock to choose from. After years of working with elite genetics, he was able to produce some truly incredible award-winning strains.
Karma won third-place indica at the 2010 Cannabis Cup for his White OG, and took home third-place sativa for Dominator the very next year. Also, his Biker Kush and Ghostrider OG are two of the finest and most intoxicating varieties available in seed form. He’s especially excited about a special strain known as Happy Brother, an intense indica that has been shown to have some very interesting medicinal properties in initial testing. Look for Karma Genetics to win even more marijuana prizes in the years to come.
Grand Daddy Purp Genetics
Ken Estes has been waging a decades-long fight for cannabis freedom after being paralyzed from the neck down in a motorcycle accident as a teen. His ardent activism has always been coupled with the desire to improve the quality of medical marijuana for patients worldwide. He started his first Grand Daddy Purp collective in 2003 and experienced raids and many other challenges as a result. Today, Ken’s six collectives sell Grand Daddy Purp’s branded strains, as well as seeds and clones, to thousands of patients throughout California.
Their Bay 11 took home first-place sativa at the 2011 San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup, but it’s the flagship strain Granddaddy Purp that truly put them on the marijuana map. Granddaddy Purp is a soothing indica with a strong body high that nevertheless enables its users to maintain their focus.
Its dark purple hues and sweet grape-candy flavor make it an absolute mainstay in the Bay Area and beyond. Grand Daddy Purp also provides seeds for their strains
to California medical marijuana patients at all of their locations.
Founded in 2010, Elemental Seeds grew out of a partnership of award-winning breeders and growers at the Elemental Wellness Center in San Jose, CA, one of the finest medical marijuana collectives run by activist patients, which seeks to provide only the best cannabis, concentrates and edibles. They’re famous for their multiple Medical Cannabis Cup winner, the True OG, a cross of Thai, Pakistani and Chem genetics that continuously amazes judges year after year. In a contest with many OG hybrids, the True OG always shines through.
Because they’re affiliated with a dispensary, Elemental Seeds focuses strongly on the medicinal aspects of their strains, particularly their high-CBD Jamaican Lion. Extensive lab testing, meticulous growing practices and rigorous quality control ensure that no mold, pesticides or PGRs (plant-growth regulators) are present on any of their plants or seeds. For a special medicinal treat, try Banana Kush, a fruity, sweet, award-winning strain that actually tastes like bananas.
Archive Seed Bank
Another company created in the aftermath of Overgrow.com’s takedown, Archive was founded in 2011 by original Internet forum contributor ThaDocta. Collecting and preserving rare and exotic strains from all over the world for more than a decade, ThaDocta built up an extensive mother-plant list with over 60 distinct varieties.
Archive’s Bomb Threat won third-place indica at the 2013 San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup, and their Grimace OG won third- place indica in Los Angeles the same year; meanwhile, concentrates made from Archive strains have scored notable victories as well. And with over 30 strains to choose from, you’re sure to find a keeper here.
ThaDocta says: “We’d like to pay respect to the growers that risked their freedom to preserve these lines and personally allowed us to breed with these guaranteed authentic cannabis varietals. We’re happy to bring back some of the rarest genetics in the US cannabis genome and unleash the most unique ‘lost’ varieties into the growrooms of demanding connoisseurs worldwide.”
Loud Seeds formed as a collaboration between a couple of Northern California growers seeking to breed the highest-quality strains from their area and beyond. Head geneticist James Loud and his partner, Mike Seeds, then brought their Loud Scout (Girl Scout Cookies x Platinum OG Kush) to the 2012 Cannabis Cup and took home first-place hybrid in a shocking defeat of many worthy and longer-established competitors. Loud Seeds’ version of Headband then went on to win Best Hybrid at the 2013 Medical Cannabis Cup in San Francisco.
Their latest project has been to stabilize their Ganja Farmer OG, a new strain endorsed by reggae singer Marlon Asher. James and Mike offer these words of thanks: “Loud Seeds is extremely honored to receive this award. We’re in the midst of what may be one of the most influential industries of the future -- one that can positively impact mankind for years to come, far exceeding our lifespan. We’d like to thank everyone at HIGH TIMES, as well as Sensi Seeds, Green House, Dutch Passion, Legends, Serious Seeds and fellow Americans Soma, DNA Genetics and T.H.Seeds, all of whom helped pave the way to this amazing reality!”
Devil’s Harvest made a splash by taking home second place at the 25th Annual Cannabis Cup in 2012 (winning for the Green Place coffeeshop) with their Shoreline strain, a Sensi Skunk hybrid that reputedly spread out from a Grateful Dead show at the Shoreline Ampitheater years ago. It’s a super-sticky and very stinky strain that grows into dense, greasy nuggets covered in trichomes. The taste mirrors the smell, with a skunky flavor that lingers on the tongue.
These days, Devil’s Harvest are all about veganics, using OG-Tea to produce their prized pot. The cleaner-burning herb that results will certainly continue to win awards even in a tough field of competitors, and the genetics are consistently top-notch. A representative of the company told me, “We’re honored and humbled to be included on this list. Keep up the great work, and we’ll see you all at the next Cannabis Cup!”
Offifficially founded in 2009, Hortilab Seeds actually have over a decade of breeding experience in the Netherlands and Switzerland. Inspired by their time at the former Spice of Life facilities with Breeder Steve, they decided to search out and catalog the many exotic strains avail- able outside the traditional Amsterdam scene.
At the 22nd Annual Cannabis Cup in 2009, Hortilab took home first place for Best Indica with Starbud as well as third place in the seed-company sativa category with their Sour Power, while water hash made from Starbud won first place in the seed-company concentrates category the following year. More prizes have followed and will undoubtedly continue to roll in.
Team Hortilab says: “Thank you for this honor! Working with only the best and carefully selected breeding stock enables our breeders to produce seeds that stand out in flavor, potency and yield, combining old and new genetics. We’re opening our retail seed shop in Valkenburgerstraat 152 (not far from Coffeeshop Bluebird and the Green House Waterlooplein), which will be featuring the whole Hortilab lineup and the biggest selection of Grassroots California hats in Europe, as well as a variety of 710 supplies.”
MTG Seeds hail from the hills of Northern Cali and are dedicated to preserving the strains of their region. They’ve also traveled extensively looking for rare landrace and exotic genetics to combine with their tried-and-true breeding stock for some very interesting hybrids. They specifically breed for strong mold resistance and high-yielding varieties that can withstand tough conditions, and they use organic methods for growing and creating their seeds.
MTG Seeds have also won awards for the highest CBD level in concentrates and edibles at several of our Medical Cannabis Cups using their famous CBDiesel. The research being done on high-CBD strains these days has shown that they have tremendous medicinal value and important healing properties.
Breeder Django says, “I’d like to thank HIGH TIMES for nominating us to the Seed Bank Hall of Fame. It is a huge honor for us to be included. I’d like to personally thank my dad, who taught me so much and made this plant such a huge part of my life. I would also like to thank Kevin -- without your work and effort, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”