One the big highlights of our recent 420 livestream was the chance to catch up with Mahmoud Harachi, head of genetics and new territories at legendary seedbank Dutch Passion. Known for its top-class genetics and famous for having inventing feminised seeds, Dutch Passion is a household name among all weed aficionados worldwide, and while Mahmoud says it’s been a quiet year for the company due to the coronavirus pandemic, some exciting plans are in place for the future.
Your Questions For Dutch Passion – Answered By Mahmoud
Q: In ten years’ time, will Dutch Passion only produce feminised seeds?
A: “No, never. We always keep regular seeds available for those who need it.”
During the live chat, Mahmoud recounted the story of how Dutch Passion founder Henk van Dalen first invented feminised seeds by stressing his female plants into becoming hermaphrodites, and using the pollen from these plants to create an F1 generation with two X chromosomes. After collaborating with scientists in India, van Dalen discovered that this process could be enhanced by using colloidal silver to increase the rate of hermaphroditism among his female plants.
“In the mid-90s, Dutch Passion was the only company to offer feminised seeds, and now it’s the standard in the industry,” says Mahmoud. However, the company continues to also offer regular seeds, including some that are not bred to stability, as this keeps things interesting for phenotypers and breeders who want to mix and match their genetics.
Q: What’s your favourite strain to grow and smoke?
A: “I think American Tulip if I have to choose one from the Dutch Passion collection, and then my all-time favourite in general is the Cheese… that’s a strain that you never get tired of smoking. It has such as subtle, sweet taste.”
While Cheese originates in the UK, American Tulip is Dutch Passion cultivar that was created using American genetics, with Gelato and Sherbet as the parental lines.
Q: Do you have any special growing tricks that you can share with us?
A: “I think all the tricks are pretty much common knowledge these days,” says Mahmoud, although when pressed for a recommendation he suggests fimming, which is a bit like topping but involves the removal of about 75 percent of the tip of a plant, rather than the whole tip.
Q: Are there any techniques you use that you don’t think anyone else does?
A: “What me and some of my friends sometimes do is bend the branches – firstly because they became too tall and were too close to the HPS lamps. Now we use LED so the heat is not a problem anymore, but we notice that when you bend them, and you almost break them, because of the stress it gets more voluminous. It’s a cool way to stress your plant to increase yield.”
Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to create their own genetics?
A: “An important question to ask yourself is what’s your goal? What do you want to achieve? When you know this then you can find the plants that can help you achieve that goal.”
Q: What do you look for in a male plant?
A: “We look for vigour of course, and sometimes we look for trichomes. What I personally do is rub the stem and then smell [it]… Usually those with the nicest smell are good to use as breeding material.”
What’s Next For Dutch Passion?
Aside from answering viewers’ questions, Mahmoud also gave us some insight into Dutch Passion’s plans for the future, both in terms of cultivar development and expansion into new geographical regions. Minor cannabinoids, for instance, are a new focus for Dutch Passion, and the company is currently working to create new cultivars that express these compounds.
“I’m very excited about the new minor cannabinoids that we released, like CBD Victory, which is a high CBDV strain, and THC Victory, which is high THCV. We’ve also been working with CBG and some other minor cannabinoids, and hopefully we’ll be able to release those next year or the year after,” says Mahmoud.
In terms of new territories, Dutch Passion has been one of the major players in Thailand since the country became the first in Asia to legalise medical marijuana. While things are taking a while to get off the ground in Thailand, Mahmoud says that Dutch Passion is currently “one of the few companies to be able to send our seeds out with all the right paperwork, so we’re able to send seeds legally to Thailand.”
With the COVID restrictions showing signs of lifting, things are slowly but surely beginning to ramp up throughout the cannabis world, and Dutch Passion is now preparing to attend its first cannabis expo in over a year in Mexico this June.
Alongside Mahmoud Harachi, the Seedsman 420 livestream also included conversations with UK cannabis activists Carly Barton and John Green, Seedsman’s Alistair Frost and Laurence Strutt, Instagram influencers @imcannabess and @pigeons420. Tune in here to view and don’t miss out on our 420 promo – free limited edition seeds and two new strains launched – Fuel D.OG and Purple Ghost Candy.
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