Dutch Passion Spreads the Seeds

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In 1997, a man named Henk van Dalen found “the Holy Grail.” Starting in the 1970s, he’d grown his own cannabis, opened an Amsterdam coffeeshop and founded one of the world’s first cannabis seed banks, but he knew he was also capable of achieving a long-anticipated goal for cannabis breeding: discovering how to create feminized seeds. When van Dalen bred those first feminized seeds in 1997, he solidified his seed bank, Dutch Passion, as a pioneer in the international cannabis industry. Today, it’s been more than two decades since the invention of feminized seeds and the cannabis industry has new holy grails to chase — but van Dalen and Dutch Passion are still here chasing. Dutch Passion’s Shaman. I met Dutch Passion’s head of genetics and new territories, Mahmoud Hanachi, at the legendary cannabis author Ed Rosenthal’s home garden on a brisk Bay Area winter morning. Hanachi was visiting California from Amsterdam and looking to meet new potential business partners. In a crisp white button-up, faded jeans and white sneakers, Hanachi appeared the quintessential new school European cannabis businessman, and his sensibility matched. He’d woken up early, taken advantage of the time difference to get some work done and called his wife and children back home. When we talked in Rosenthal’s garden, over a cup of tea and a smoke, Hanachi spoke about the cannabis industry with a clear-eyed candor. He joked about the ridiculous nature of cannabis laws around the globe (for example, in Austria, it is legal to grow cannabis as an ornamental plant, but not to harvest and sell the flower you’ve grown), but noted that the rest of the world is increasingly challenging America’s prohibition hegemony. “The future is definitely going toward worldwide legalization,” Hanachi said. “Some places will move faster than others, but it’s just…

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