We’re excited to be adding another 10 seed companies to our illustrious list of the world’s best pot breeders. Behold the High Times Cannabis Cup winners with prized genetics that are improving the quality of the cannabis gene pool with great and unique strains that stand the test of time. Compiled by Danny Danko and T.H. Caeczar
Crockett Family Farms
Since 2008, Crockett has been known for two incredibly popular cultivars that have won many awards over the past few years both for Crockett himself and others using his genetics: We’re talking, of course, of the Tangie and Strawberry Banana. These terped-out powerhouses have many people head over heels for Crockett’s crazy flavors in both flower and concentrate form. The now-legendary Tangie alone has won some two dozen prizes worldwide!
Growing has been Crockett family affair for three generations, and their emphasis is always on a superior medicinal and connoisseur-quality end result. Some other varieties that have become very popular are Double Tangie Banana, Sour Banana Sherbet, Clementine and Citrus Sap. This is another seed company to keep your eyes on if you’re interested in tropical, fruity aromas and flavors. Be sure to watch for the Banana Pie crosses being released throughout 2017.
Swamp Boys Seeds is a successful collaboration between Cornbread Ricky and Krome, two old friends from Florida. These creative breeders have undeniably made today’s cannabis community a better place, chiefly by sharing two legendary strains: Triangle Kush and The White.
Since relocating to California, the Swamp Boys have been consistently discovering new genetics, combining their tried-and-true strains with some of the newer varieties to create innovative and unique standout cultivars. Notable strains attributed to Swamp Boys Seeds (either created or selected) include McFly White Fire #3, Trigerian, Nookies, Blockhead, Mojito, Rogan and Tina Danza. Their current project consists of six crosses with their Georgia Pine male (Killer Queen G-13 x William’s Wonder) and six with their Orange Blossom Trail (Old Florida Orange Skunk). Keep your eyes peeled for the new Nigerian crosses that are being released. If you didn’t like Haze before, you might change your mind when you see what’s coming out soon!
The creator of JJ’s Nigerian Haze, Tres Dawg and the ever- popular Star Dawg is Mr. JJNYC himself, the breeder behind Top Dawg Seeds. Since the early 2000s, Top Dawg Seeds have been building their reputation for having access to legit and verified Chemdog-approved strains that just about any grower would love to add to their garden.
JJ’s been creating new cultivars with rare, highly-sought-after clones like the Chem D, Chem 91, Nigerian Silk, Legend OG and other rare classics like the Mango Haze, Kali Mist and Strawberry Cough—and we can’t neglect to mention Money Mike and the super-popular I-95 crosses he and JJ have been working on. With the soaring demand for Top Dawg Seeds, expect to see these Chem cultivars in more places than ever! If you like those chlorine-bleach-and-Ajax, sour-halitosis-morning-breath, garlicky gas-station terps, you’re in for a treat!
“I would like to thank JoeB, PBud, Chemdog, the Weasel, SkunkVA, SI Pete, Money Mike, High Times and everyone in the Chem Family who preserved and shared the Chem lines. Without your contributions, this wouldn’t be possible for me. Chem Family Forever!” —JJNYC
ThaRealOGKushman of the Source Genetics has been growing and breeding cannabis on the West Coast on and off for over 20 years … one of his earliest breeding projects being a Skunk #1 x Super Skunk cross when he was only 17! Over the years, he’s developed a keen eye for keepers and a highly selective strategy for finding incredible breeding lines that he uses to create elite hand-picked seeds.
The Source Genetics debuted in 2013. A year later, they won first place for Best Indica at the Cannabis Cup with Cookie Monster, and then another two awards in 2015: third place for Best Hash with Gluekie Monster, and first place for Best Sativa (in NorCal!) with the amazing lemon-citrus bomb called Schlemons. 2017 will see the release of a few gems from ThaRealOGKushman’s vault, such as the Cookie Monster, which he’ll finally be making available to the public. Keep your eyes peeled and pick up a pack of seeds when that happens you don’t miss out on another potential Cup winner!
Bodhi Seeds have been incredibly consistent for many years when it comes to producing high-quality seeds and cultivars. Most breeders can’t hold a flame to Bodhi and the level he’s at when it comes to selections: Many consider him among the top five breeders to date. Some of the males he’s selected for his breeding projects have included the Appalachia (Tres Dawg x Green Crack) and an 88 G-13 x Hash Plant cross that’s been producing nothing but superior A-grade genetics with intense effects, incredible aromas and unique flavor profiles.
Some of Bodhi’s most popular strains include the Goji OG, Sunshine Daydream, Sunshine #4, Snow Lotus and Red-Eye Jedi, but there are so many more we could name. If you don’t have any Bodhi Seeds in your seed vault, mother-plant quiver or personal head-stash grow, you’re definitely missing out.
Since their first release with Attitude Seed Bank in 2010, Gage Green Group (GGG) have been slowly building a demand for their gear from growers in the know. Their Mendo Breath boasts the biggest popularity to date, but you can’t go wrong with anything they produce, including their incredible recent Cannabis Cup winner Grape Stomper. Founders Keyplay and M4k started the group in a sincere attempt to improve the cannabis gene pool with their natural breeding techniques, including selecting only the finest cultivars to ensure the highest quality.
“We at Gage Green Group will expand our repertoire this year with a new line of championship genetics. Our new explorations will involve many Hazes and distinct landraces in order to diversify the already exceptional expression of Gage Green Genetics. As usual, we’ll be incorporating heirloom clones that meet our high standards. We continue to revitalize world-class clones, such as the OGKB, through living soil and beneficial farming practices so that our champions will be pure and unhindered by chemicals. After decades of working with pure, natural methods, our quest for miraculous herb has only just begun!” —Gage Green Group
Mean Gene and Leo Stone started Aficionado Seeds in 2013, primarily as a way of preserving old-school genetics and the old way of doing things in the Emerald Triangle. Prior to that, they spent over 20 years customizing strains for private clients. Their rare genetics, such as the Chemdawg Special Reserve, Cherry Limeade, Nubia and Black Lime Reserve, have taken home over a dozen awards in various competitions thus far, with others sure to follow in the future.
As a premium artisanal brand, their seeds do come with a premium designer price tag attached. The team at Aficionado breed small batches, so everything is ultra-limited-edition and highly exclusive. They also breed specifically for the smokers, because those are the people who ultimately create the demand—not the growers. Their 2016 menu includes the Legend of Mandlebrot Special Memorial Release, dedicated to a revered and recently departed Emerald Triangle breeder. With lots of careful selection and testing going into their work, you can pretty much guarantee that whatever you get from Aficionado Seeds will be flawless.
This induction has been a long time coming! Originally founded in 1996, Brothers Grimm became known for strong and stable strains. When they shut down in 2002 due to security concerns, the original Cinderella 99 seed stock was quickly depleted and became unavailable until their recent resurrection in 2016. During the dozen or so years in between, the C-99 became more than just popular—it reached cult status as the holy grail of indoor marijuana.
Many attempts were made by other breeders to copycat the strain, but none ever hit the mark. Mr. Soul decided in 2015 to retrieve his famous clone Princess and the cache of seeds he’d saved from Brothers Grimm in 2002. He grew the seeds to select a P94-generation male and then pollinated the Princess exactly as he’d done in 1999 to create the original Cinderella 99 seeds. Some other outstanding strains from Brothers Grimm are the legendary Apollo 11, Killer Queen and their newest sensational creation, Rosetta Stone.
“Brothers Grimm are honored to be inducted! Keep an eye out, for our best is yet to come. ” —Mr. Soul and Duke Diamond
This collective of farmers from Northern California have decades of experience and the strains to prove it, racking up dozens of awards over the last few years. They made their name with the indica-dominant Zkittlez strain, which has won many prizes for flowers and concentrates due to its unique tropical-candy flavor and uplifting buzz.
This crew is also known for their OG Eddy Lepp strain and the inimitable Rosé with the flavor and fragrance of berries and flowers. The trichome production and terpene profiles of these varieties make them ideal for concentrate production. Two new strains called the OZ Kush and Hot Lixz, both released in 2015, also helped propel the 3rd Gen Fam to prominence in the eyes of growers and smokers. If you’re on a “terp quest” and pheno-hunting for some unique, sweet-and-fruity aromas and flavors, you’ll find what you’re looking for in a pack of beans from this reliable group of breeders.
Exotic Genetix started up in 2008 and have dominated the last decade with some phenomenal strains. Much of their success has come from their Kimbo Kush and Cookies and Cream. If it wasn’t for the man known as “Backwood County Grower” somewhere up in NorCal with the original F1 seed stock of the Alien line (straight from the person who sourced it from Afghanistan), many seed companies wouldn’t be where they are today.
With 11 first-place Cannabis Cup wins, seven second-place awards and four third-place wins since 2012, Exotic Genetix show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With their newest release of The Cube (Starfighter F1 x Starfighter IX2) and several new Cube crosses, expect to see many growers in 2017 pumping out some serious heat!
“We make exotic strains for the exotic grower. With over 20 High Times Cannabis Cup awards since 2012, we have the strains you should be growing!” —Exotic Genetix
Previous High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame Inductees
2007: The First 10 (plus five pioneers no longer in business)
Sensi Seeds/Sensi Seed Club
Green House Seeds
T.H.Seeds (originally CIA/KGB)
Esteemed Pioneers Emeritus
Sacred Seeds/Cultivator’s Choice
The Seed Bank
Super Sativa Seed Club (SSSC)
Lowlands Weed/Seed Company
BC Bud Depot
Big Buddha Seeds
Delta 9 Labs
Vancouver Island Seed Company
Next Generation Seed Company
High Bred Seeds
Subcool Seeds/TGA/The Green Avengers
Mr. Nice Seeds
La Plata Labs
Grand Daddy Purp Genetics
Archive Seed Bank