Guest Blog by Eric Rosen
Purple City Genetics is an Oakland, California-based cannabis collective founded in 2008. We were born out of the medical movement, primarily with smaller indoor growers who always had their finger on the pulse with respect to consumer preferences, both current and also what the next vanguard cultivars were likely to be. This type of close connection to the community of growers, cultivators, farmers and producers has been one of our greatest allies from a cultivar selection and breeding process. As a result, many farms now look to us to ask ‘What should we grow next year? What’s going to be the next big thing?”. The genesis of our breeding program extended from the same desire we’ve always had: to provide new, unique and vanguard cultivars to farmers with trends, terroir/microclimate considerations and end-use cases in mind (i.e., top shelf flower, hash, biomass, etc.). We’ve always found setting trends is a lot more exciting than chasing them, and breeding exemplifies this for us.
PCG Breeding Philosophy
From a philosophy perspective, we care deeply about the plant which faces an ever-evolving set of challenges, both human and botanical. From a breeding standpoint, our mission is to provide the best genetics possible. This means searching through hundreds of thousands of seeds every year looking for just one or two cuts worthy of the Purple City Genetics roster: high THC, unbelievable terps, high return in concentrates.
PCG Breeding Program
Our breeding program is geared towards broad acre use, strong agronomic plants, but with buyers in mind who want a variety of popular flavors and terpenes. The program is created from an extensive archive of genetics that range from rare and emerging exotics to the canonical standards. Our seed line is a true expression of California’s diverse cannabis heritage—shaped with both farmers and tastemakers in mind. We offer a broad range of feminized, autoflower, and standard photoperiod seeds to solve for the diverse needs of cannabis farmers regardless of environment or end use case (i.e. top shelf flower, live resin via mechanical extraction, etc.)
Why Seeds vs Clones
Many growers ask, “Why seeds over clones?” Compared to clones, seeds offer increased yields at lower cost, stronger taproots and immune systems, elevated THC and terpene levels, and more pest/viroid resistance. Seed-based plants are a known standard for more established agricultural sectors, and we are starting to see a major shift in the marketplace with cannabis farmers who are seeing the light with respect to starting from seed vs clone.
PCG 2021 Limited Retail Seedlings
Our limited edition seedling offering for select dispensaries offers the newest PCG selections that commercial cultivators are selecting to grow this season but aren’t available to consumers in seed or clone form. The small batch nature of PCG retail seedlings ensures that home growers that want to be on the cutting edge of genetics have access to what’s typically only reserved for commercial farmers. Some of the releases are varieties that also won’t even be available to commercial farms and will only be available in the dispensary seedling drops. One of the best examples of this category of PCG varieties is our upcoming Mango Mintality seedling drop.
Mango Mintality Lineage History Notes
There are few cultivars in the history of cannabis that carry the shroud of mystique and cult-following of Haze. A virtually pure sativa, The Original Haze is a 3-way (arguably 4-way) cross that offers a uncommonly wide range of phenotypes. The history of Haze is one of the most fiercely debated topics amongst cannabis aficionados and breeders of all time and for good reason. In the late 21’st century, Dutch breeders changed the face of cannabis breeding forever when they crossed the Haze (which can have an unwieldy 16+ week flowering cycle) with Northern Lights, a short-bloom cycle Afghani Indica to tame the Haze for indoor growers. NL5xHaze was a pinnacle of breeding achievement, won multiple Cannabis Cups and gave birth to Jack Herer, BlackJack, XJ-13, and countless other poly-hybrids in the decades to follow.
With virtually no ceiling, older Haze varieties can provide laser sharp, pinpoint focus at the microdose level. At higher doses, consumption graduates into a psychedelic experience, often within a single joint.
In the 1988 The Seed Bank catalogue Neville writes:
“Haze is a late sativa from America, widely agreed by experts to be the best pot in the world. Very popular in the 70’s, it nearly became extinct in recent years as growers switched to easier varieties. We managed to salvage a few viable seeds from the last crop grown in America and we have used them to produce some remarkable hybrids. Haze is known for an extreme, almost psychedelic spaciness. The fragrance is complex and deep with a dry flowery perfume over a base of dark leathery animal tones. When used in a hybrid it adds fascinating notes of depth and complexity to the taste, as well as a unique addition to the high. While not for everyone, the most jaded connoisseur will often find haze irresistible.”
Sensi Seeds’ catalogues from the 1990’s describe it as follows:
“Upon release, this enormously potent and productive seed-strain swept the cannabis awards and sparked something of a ‘grass-roots’ revolution in breeding. NL#5xHaze reminded the cannabis community that Sativa magic was rapidly being bred out of commercial strains in the quest for the shortest, fastest plants. Indica genes were becoming the dominant influence in almost every crop and the true Haze rocket-ride was in danger of becoming a memory. NL#5xHaze helped to turn the tide by demonstrating that growers could have it all – mind-blowing Sativa effect and weighty Indica production – for just a few extra weeks in flowering.”Mango Haze is a Haze cultivar from Mr Nice Genetics and is closely related to Super Silver Haze. We pheno-hunted through many seeds to find a phenotype of Mango Haze that is short flowering. The nose is a balanced blend of overripe mango and classic incense/church terpenes from the A5 lineage. This cut has been closely guarded in PCG’s vault for many years.
Gush Mints: When we bred Gush Mints in 2020, our intentions were twofold: 1.) Select for the best traits of exotics that the market demands today (color, terpene profile, hype, THC%) and 2.) Select for agronomic traits that result in strong plants, high yields, etc. This is particularly relevant to outdoor farmers, because most exotics cannot handle being planted in the field as they don’t deal well with extreme shifts in weather, strong winds etc.
PCG’s Gush mints’ lineage is Kush Mints x (F1 Durb x Gushers).
Mango Mintality Seedling Release
Opposites attract, and we bred the Mango Mintality seedling with cannabis aficionados who chase the soaring high of Haze but in a plant with the most desirable traits of contemporary vanguard cannabis. Adventure awaits with Mango Mintality. Growing more than one seedling is highly suggested, as the diversity of phenotypic expression will be the widest amongst our seedling releases. Expect a full spectrum experience, with a strong, relaxing body and a high that cuts through the fog regardless of how much cannabis you’ve already consumed that day.
Mango Mintality is a sativa leaning, 9-11, possibly 12 week strain. Let her go the distance for maximum terpene representation. For more cerebral effects, harvest when trichrome heads are more clear than milky/amber. However, if you prefer less racy sativa, harvest when the plant is slightly overripe as the CBN from amber trichomes will tame the beast for a more pleasurable journey.
Final Thoughts on PCG Small Batch Seedling Drops
One of the primary reasons we launched the small batch seedling program is for consumers to enjoy playing with something different; seed-based plants have a wild card as phenos can differ from one another. Seasoned and first-time growers alike will love the thrill of the hunt when growing any of our small batch seedlings. Part of the excitement is in the magic and mystery of being delighted by your specific seedling, and when you open a jar at a party later this year, you’ll not only turn heads, but you’ll have something truly unique to share with your friends.
Eric Rosen is the Sales director of Purple City Genetics. He holds an MBA from The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. When he’s not traveling around the state consulting with cultivators, he lives in Los Angeles and enjoys spending time with his wife, 3 kids and their Pandemic Puppy, Mushu.