The History of Serious Seeds
The breeder behind Serious Seeds, Simon, is responsible for the material sold by the seed bank.
He studied biology at one of the universities in Amsterdam and was always a non-smoker. (Non-tobacco-smoker, and therefore also non-cannabis-smoker, because in Holland it is common practice to mix marihuana with 'tobacco' and then roll a joint.) He only discovered the merits of smoking pure marihuana after his study while traveling through Africa in 1986. Today he remains one of the few Dutch, who smoke this wonder-plant in its pure form as one should.
From this moment on he started collecting seeds and put them into his private genetic library. Back in Holland he immediately started growing those seeds out for personal pleasure. Crossing what he thought were the best plants seemed a natural follow up. Contacts with other growers gave him access to different plants from which he also selected the best ones. The genetic background of this material was not always clear in this time.
Simon taught biology at a highschool when Alan Dronkers asked him to come and work at Sensi Seeds. This meant a drastic career-change for Simon, but he never regreted this step. After having worked a while for Sensi Seeds, Simon teamed up with two american “cannabis-refugees” and founded their own seed bank.
In that year (1994) the 'AK-47' and the 'Chronic' both won prices at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. After this exceptional success with his strains, the collaboration with the Americans was stopped and Simon founded his own seed bank “Serious Seeds” in 1995.
It has always been a Serious' policy to have the products grown from the different seeds available to try out in some of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam. The 'Greenhouse' is one of those coffeeshops, which carried Serious' products to smoke in the start in 1995. Greenhouse coffeeshop won a High Times Cannabis Cup in 1995 with the Kali Mist grown by Serious Seeds.In 1996 another famous Amsterdam coffeeshop the 'De Dampkring' won the Overall Cup at that year's Cannabis Cup with the newest Serious strain: White Russian.
Another Serious' shop from the early days is the 'Blue Bird', who entered the Warlock in 1997 for the first time into the High Times Cananbis Cup and immediately won an award with it. They really sell what is listed instead of anything under an “often-asked-for” name.
Serious has always been a relatively small company, and prefers to stay like that.
We strive to develop new and interesting plants with good medicinal properties, which are stable and easy to grow, in order for caregivers to be able to provide high-quality medicine for medicinal cannabis patients.
This means we don't work to produce something new every year for commercial reasons or to compete in the next contest.
We want to put a new name out when we think we have something worth while for medicinal users, pot growers and smokers to try out.
History of Magus Genetics
At the beginning of the 1990ies, Gerrit Slot started home growing, choosing an outdoor location. He used Afghani and Skunk bag seeds that he had selected out of coffeeshop weed in 1989. Because he was not familiar with female and male cannabis flowers, he did not realize that the Afghani plants were male and pollinated a female Skunk, resulting in a lot of F1 seeds.
In the following winter, Gerrit also practised indoor cultivation, mainly making use of clones that he had bought from a friend. But he also took some seedlings and clones of his own material, both his self-F1 hybrid Skunk/Afghani and once again the supposedly pure, but commercial Skunk bag seeds. He noticed that his own F1 hybrids of Skunk/Afghani clearly were more vigorous than the pure Skunk plants, but could not match them in terms of smell and taste. Because his Skunk seed supply was exhausted, Gerrit decided to hybridize his last female Skunk specimens (he had taken several cuttings of the best plant), with the pollen of some male Skunk/Afghani F1s. The resulting generation proved to be very vigorous and even superior to the Skunk mother in terms of aroma and potency, but did not yield as much as the bought cuttings so that Gerrit kept buying them and only grew a few of his own pedigree in the shaded corners of the room.
Until spring 1993, he left it with that, but then suddenly his friend got into troubles and Gerrit was forced to fill out the whole cultivation space with his own hybrids. Thanks to this accident, he realised that the reason why his own hybrids had always yielded lower than the bought cuttings simply was that they had to stand in the shade, far away from the light source. From now on, they received optimum light intensities, what made them yield very well, too, and Gerrit made up his mind to exclusively grow his own genetic material in the future, instead of being dependent on other people.
But he also had another incentive to grow his own: Meanwhile he had gotten into contact with the Bluebird, one of Amsterdam`s most popular coffeeshops, and the Bluebird guys sold Gerrit`s own creation under the name Warlock, enthusing a steadily increasing circle of customers that cried for more. Eventually they should get more, Gerrit managed to further improve his hybrid`s yield, by optimizing the growing factors. He did not continue the breeding process and kept on reproducing one single superb mother plant by taking cutting from cutting over years.
However, in 1997 he got worried about the germination power of his original hybrid seeds which were several years old now. He also was afraid that in case of being busted or stolen, his mother plants would disappear forever. So Gerrit decided to make a cut in production and put the whole matter on a more professional basis.He also felt inspired by the fact that the Bluebird had taken 3rd place in the bio category of the High Times Cannabis Cup 1997 with his Warlock.
He sowed all original seeds that were left, still obtaining a good germination rate.Simultaneously he started reading a lot of botanical and breeding literature, what made him realize that he would need far more growing space in order to get the best out of the genetic potential of his hybrid. So he hired a larger grow room and at the same time had his seed operation legally registered at the local chamber of commerce in January 1998.
Between 1997 and 1998, Gerrit worked with 50 different breeding lines that he had created out of 25 female individuals and 2 different males. He made sure to have numerous safety copies of the respective parents and selected the best line for creating Warlock as commercially available seed strain for the first time, introducing it to the market at the High Times Cannabis Cup 1998 with great response.
The strain Warlock proved to be a true lucky punch. It is especially remarkable that a breeder has created something outstanding and unique out of completely regular and commercial strains like Afghani and Skunk. In the following years, Gerrit experimented within the original gene pool what resulted in a new father plant for Warlock.
This specimen was also used to create new varieties like Exile (x White Widow/Northern Lights), Starwarz (x Sensi Star), and Double Dutch (x pre-2000 Chronic), while Starwarz is only available as weed at the Bluebird coffeeshop, not as seed strain.
Gerrit himself prefers Warlock, when it comes to the quality of the high, but recommends the Double Dutch for optimum yields. He says that the 1999 ban on seed production in Holland actually was irrelevant to him, because he used to work in the underground likewise before and after that. He had already decided to move to a slightly smaller grow room at the end of 1998, since the rent has been too high for him, as he had not yet started the professional sale of seeds. But also now, he has an adequate facility for ensuring both further development and maintenance of his strains.
Double Dutch also became most popular within short, and Gerrit`s latest hit, the outdoor strain Biddy Early (Early Pearl/Skunk x Warlock, but there is way too much Early Pearl influence to call it an outdoor Warlock, as Gerrit puts it), surprised everybody at the High Times Cup 2003 by taking second place in the sativa category, beating numerous indoor strains!
In the summer of 2002, he opened his "Magus Genetics Hemp Store" in Enkhuizen, Gerrit had to learn that selling hemp products is a laudable, but not financially rewarding job, he didn`t succeed commercially. That`s why he gave up the shop in 2005.The political climate in the Netherlands towards cannabis was already cold and getting colder, due to this repression and also due to personal circumstances Gerrit wanted to take a time-out of the cannabis-industry.
In 2011 he approached Simon from Serious Seeds, an old friend of him, which he had met in earlier years in the Bluebird. Simon agreed to save the strains developed by Magus Genetics and took the father- and motherplants into the care of Serious Seeds.
A perfect marriage: Serious Seeds and Magus Genetics have united!
In 2012 there is news from the seed business - The Dutch seed bank Magus Genetics has gone under the roof of Serious Seeds, 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 do wonderfully fit into our menu.”
Indeed, the 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 sticked to the rule that we would 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 other seed banks’ strains in fact. Making quick money unfortunately seems to be the determing breeding motivation for many seed banks today. Almost all of them also do instantly follow any new genetic hype on the market, hastily throwing respective “strains” onto the market. But every time Serious Seeds and Magus Genetics bring or brought out a new strain once in a while, the customers do know it’s something precious that is going to persist for years, even decades.
But how did it come that Gerrit, the owner and breeder of Magus Genetics, sold his company?
Already for a longer while, he did have difficult private problems, amongst other things, a severe case of illness within his family, giving him a very tough time. When that all became too much for him, he decided to take a timeout from the seed business. But in doing so he had to make sure his precious Magus strains would persist in the future – while somebody else would have to take care of this then.
Gerrit contacted his longtime friend Simon who didn't have to think twice, assuring Gerrit of preserving his extraordinary strains, what made Gerrit feel very happy and relieved. However, for two of the six Magus strains it was too late unfortunately, the mother plants of both Exile and Biddy’s Sister had gone lost at Magus Genetics so that these strains won't be available any longer from Serious Seeds, while the Magus classics Warlock, Biddy Early,Double Dutch and Motavation will supplement and enrich the portfolio of Serious Seeds.
These strains can already be ordered from Serious Seeds.
Warlock, Biddy Early, Double Dutch and Motavation are true cannabis strain classics with a loyal worldwide following that have been proving their excellence in practice for many years. A German circle of growers for example, to which amongst others Mr. Power-Planter and Ellis D. are belonging, right from the beginning had observed the range of strains offered by Magus Genetics and checked their quality in several cultivation tests.
Mr. Power-Planter: „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 worldwide available – Gerrit once reported that some DEA guys in America had measured the THC content of confiscated Warlock plants at unbelievable 29%, this is not a representative figure though, while Warlock regularly has a THC content of at least 20%. In addition, she gives off one of the strongest odours there are in both her living and dried form, incredibly stinky, if one opens a box with Warlock buds inside, the whole room instantly gets filled with a pungent Warlock aroma cloud.
Mr. Power-Planter put Warlock (mostly indica) to the cultivation test in both its regular and feminised form, and in both cases the results were extraordinary, just as described above.
And also the rich harvest of big bulbous buds made him very happy.
Mr. Power-Planter tested the Motavation strain, too. The high of this mostly indica strain turned out to be extremely strong and narcotic, like a „thick wad of cotton wool“ (Mr. Power-Planter) 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 was very happy with the results, that he had named it “Medizin Power” and that it had become pretty popular among his circle of friends, all medical marijuana patients. So Gerrit himself used to call the strain “Medizin Power” at that stage of development.
Double Dutch (also mostly indica), a cross of Serious Seeds' Chronic and Magus Genetics' Warlock strain, is the yield miracle from Gerrit's genetic inheritance, heavily laden with thick tight buds, Double Dutch produces huge massive flower chunks that sometimes need to be staked to due their big weight. Gerrit formerly reported about plants he had cultivated that 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 of honey-sweet wildflowers, thanks to the Chronic parent that managed to leave its trademark aroma stamp on this strain. But of course Double Dutch also achieved high scores for superb potency and resin content.
It also was Ellis D. who quickly became an ardent lover of Biddy Early (mostly sativa) which, to his mind, belongs to the best outdoors strains worldwide available. 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: It was the only outdoor-grown weed in the sativa category, and as such 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 and did the same with Ellis D., in the following autumn of 2004 he had cultivated a small late-start Biddy Early plant on his balcony that yielded 115 grams of premium outdoor buds.
All these four former Magus strains are now sold under the label of Serious Seeds, and there also is a newly designed uniform packaging for both the classic Serious and former Magus strains, with a small booklet, plant photo and an individual product number.
The Magus Genetics logo will not be used any longer, but in the respective strain descriptions there is a hint that the strains were developed by Magus Genetics. Instead of previously ten, there are now eleven seeds contained in one package of former Magus strains so that their price has decreased a little bit under the roof of Serious Seeds.
Being asked whether it may be conceivable that Gerrit at a certain point will return as a player in the seed business, Simon replied: „Nothing is impossible, however, from my point of view, it's rather unlikely. In case that Gerrit should like to act as a cannabis breeder again with full power, he would probably join the Serious team.“
Gerrit has allowed Serious Seeds by the way to use his genetics for new breeding experiments so that the global grower community can look forward to new exciting strains from Serious Seeds that will breathe the spirit of Magus Genetics! Simon dampens expectations though: „So far this is nothing else than dreams of the future.“ With Double Dutch, however, there already is a strain that did result from a cooperation between Magus Genetics and Serious Seeds, from today's perspective having sort of anticipated the marriage of these two companies.