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The Story of Magus Genetics

Magus Genetics - How a "grease monkey" made its way into the cannabis jungle

Not everybody succeeds in finding his destination at first go. Many people pass through several jobs before finally discovering - often by chance - that special thing that they like the most and want to do forever. This often applies to people who are active in the field of hemp business, here lateral hires are more rule than exception. There is no special "hemp apprenticeship" that would directly pave the way into the branch, so many people have a different approach, making use of something that they`ve learnt in their former jobs or by self-made education.

And that not only mentally. Because with his small, but fine seed collection, Gerrit has been very successful for years already, in addition, he opened a hemp shop in Enkhuizen/NL in Juli 2002 ("Magus Genetics Hemp Store") which also gains much resonance. But one thing after another. Because the way in which Gerrit attained his seed strains, and how he happened to open a seed bank, is very uncommon. At the beginning of the 90ies, he 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 2003, 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. And 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 realise 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, at the same time letting his seed operation be regularly registered at the local chamber of commerce from 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.

Warlock - this strain 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", 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 had proved to 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 says), surprised everybody at the High Times Cup 2003 by taking second place in the sativa category, beating numerous indoor strains! Gerrit is also working on other breeding projects, such as Sensi Star x Warlock, and an exotic sativa strain called "Zamal". He believes that the seed market will keep on increasing in the future, but also, that the price dumping, as practised by certain competitors, will get even worse. Gerrit for his part wants to keep his reasonable prices (50-70 Euros for 10 seeds are a fair offer).

He grows his plants on a regular peat-moss/perlite medium, pH 5.8 and EC 0.8 in the beginning. For plants that reach a height of up to 60 cm in the course of their life cycle, he uses 7.5 litre pots, which is sufficient for most of his experimental plants. Night and day temperatures usually amount to 15 resp. 25C, at an air humidity of approx. 70% during vegetative growth, and about 50% in the flowering stage. For producing seeds for sale, Gerrit uses two male/female plant pairs (identical copies) at different locations, out of safety reasons.

In the summer of 2002, he opened his "Magus Genetics Hemp Store" in Enkhuizen, offering almost every availabe hemp product to his customers. Gerrit had the special goal to create an appealing shop ambience, because he "wanted to to break up all that common associations concerning hemp like illegality and ominousness, and to appeal also to non-cannabis smokers, with a nice looking and inviting shop". And he succeeded in this goal, according to Gerrit, many people come to his shop who are curious about the manifold ways of hemp application and respective products, like textiles, cosmetics, healthy foods or hemp paper. The drug aspects are also frequently discussed thereby, and Gerrit feels happy then about being in a position to give competent advice and education. It was especially important to Gerrit to expand his business in terms of communication and customer contact. But his wife Corinna, his right hand in the company, of course plays the most important role in his life: "She`s the only thing in life that has a greater influence on me than cannabis", he reveals - what a nice end to this story.

Gerrit,
Magus Genetics

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