After several years of fighting a rare disease, the famous breeder Subcool died on Friday, January 31, 2020. He suffered from a deficiency of alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT), a genetic mutation that causes emphysema and liver disease.
Originally from Oregon, he had moved to California in 2013 to take advantage of a climate that suited him better. Subcool was best known for breeding varieties such as Jack the Ripper, a variety full of THCV, Vortex, Agent Orange and Qleaner. He marketed them through his seed banks TGA Genetics (The Green Avengers), created in 2001 with his wife, and Subcool Seeds. He has won numerous High Times awards, both for his varieties and for his career, the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award.
Regarding the way he developed his varieties, Subcool explained in 2016 :
My main goal, in the beginning, was to create a range of high-yielding hybrid cannabis seeds with fruit flavors. The first one we perfected was lemon [editor’s note: with Jacks’s Cleaner. Then came grape, cherry, and orange. Then we worked on the flavors of chocolate. I was so excited about these cultivars and gave them to other professional growers to see what they said. People told me they liked these varieties. Not just the taste and smell, but also the effects.
In October 2017, violent California fires destroy 8,500 homes and kill more than 60 people. Subcool escapes but loses everything: four million seeds and all the male and female mother plants it had kept over the years. He separates from his wife, and starts all over again on his own.
It will take him 2 years to rebuild his library of cannabis genetics, buying back his seeds or collecting cuttings from some of his friends. To recreate his Strawberry Cough, he goes to Hollywood and works with Kyle Kushman. Their collaboration was nicknamed the Dank brothers.
He sets up The Dank in early 2019, his new seed bank, and offers 45 varieties.
Subcool has written several books, including Dank: The Quest for the Very Best Marijuana (and his V2), and hosted The Weed Nerd on his YouTube channel.