True Breeds, World Class Seeds
The innovative world of cannabis cultivation is changing the landscape of the industry with the sheer diversity of breeds, brands and products. The possibilities are seemingly endless, but it all starts with a seed – and The Cali Connection is in the business of producing only the West Coast’s best.
It is businesses like this that make California world-renowned for its cannabis genetics. The Los Angeles based wholesale company provides the world with only the finest California-grown strains, born from the best breeders, all in seed form. Their mission, says owner and founder who is known as Swerve, is to provide true-bred strains to the general public, and more specifically, the medicinal marijuana community.
Swerve founded The Cali Connection in 2008. His career within the industry began in 2003, where he quickly developed a reputation for providing rare clones and genetics, or ‘Swerve’s Cuts.’ From there, Swerve explains, it seemed a natural progression into the seed industry. “We are providing access to genetics that most people would not get in clone or plant form – seeds are the next best option,” he adds, this is because “No matter what grows, no matter how it grows – it all starts from a seed.”
These seeds not only give customers the opportunity to grow high yielding plants, but also, the opportunity to create strains of their own.
Ultimately, The Cali Connection is committed to delivering true breeds – or ‘seeds that are true to the genetics of its mother and/or hybrid cross.’ “We are actually taking a line – say our Deadhead – and working the line to the true breeding strain,” adds Swerve, “[all the way] to the 6th or 7th Filial generation.” He adds, “We are providing genetics that people could use to breed their own strains.” Because these genetics are stable and preserved, customers can explore new hybrids by utilizing a solid breeding male, if so desired.
The company has gathered some of the world’s top genetics by working as an umbrella for top breeders throughout Northern and Southern California. These breeders have obtained and grown the state’s finest cannabis-cup winning genetics for years. Swerve and his team have also developed their own strains, including Tahoe OG, SFV OG, Larry OG, DeadHead OG, and 818 Headband AKA Sour OG.
Compassion is Key
Swerve’s drive to make true-bred seeds widely available for medicinal purposes is a personal passion for him. “Being a patient myself, it is important to me to ensure that everyone has the ability of growing something that will work for them, that will benefit them.”
“Because I have Multiple Sclerosis, I understand,” he explains. As a child, Swerve describes, he saw his mother bravely battle the illness. “I had to watch someone give my mom a shot, [I remember thinking] it is unfair […] when there are other ways. That drives my passion.”
The quality of Swerve’s collection has increased the quality of life for him and so many others. From Crohn’s Disease to chronic back pain, his customers have utilized the connection’s strains to live a normal day-to-day life. “Situations like this make you realize how powerful this is – it really does work,” says Swerve. “If we can help people, what is so wrong with that?”
Compassion is key, as the Cali Connection only ships seeds (when ordered online) to residents with valid a Medical Marijuana Recommendation. Part of making it available to patients is keeping prices down. “When you see this stuff happen, talk to these people, hear these stories – sure it is fun making money – but the real reality is, it does benefit people. It does help people. I am doing my hardest to lower prices so people can benefit from them.”
The Collection’s Selection
The Cali Connection’s products speak for themselves. This much is obvious when browsing through the company’s website – it is pure weed porn. Blossoming buds and colorful selections of Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids simply make one’s mouth water! There is quite literally something for everyone’s taste (the company is even working on an industrial hemp line).
The site showcases more than 30 different strains (with an index of terms to guide customers), from Strawberry OG to Ogiesel, and Girl Scout Cookies to Julius Caesar. Each strain’s profile includes a description of the plant’s yield, flowering time and lineage, and come in feminized or normalized seed packs. “The seeds can pretty much go anywhere and last a long time (up to four years for best results),” says Swerve, who recommends storing them in a cool, dry place.
The Cali Connection takes cup-winning quality seriously, and they have got the awards to prove it. In fact, nearly every strain the company offers is a certified title-holder, including: High Times Amsterdam Awards 2013 ‘Best Hybrid’ Girl Scout Cookies, 2012- San Francisco High Times Medical Cup ‘First Place’ Larry OG, and 2015 Karma Cup ‘First Place ‘Best Hybrid’ Blackwater, to name just a few.
“The possibilities are endless when you have the best of the best to work with,” says Swerve.
For more information:
The Cali Connection products are available at retail locations such as:
Haborside Health Center:
1840 Embarcadero, Oakland
Humboldt Patients Resource Center:
980 6th Street, Arcata
Clones vs. Seeds:
There are pros and cons to each form of breeding. Here are some tips from the experts when trying to decide what is best for you:
Starting with seeds can be a more hassle-free method of growing for those who are inexperienced. Seeds can be unpredictable, but will be pest and problem free.
Clones can be more predictable because of their isolated genetics. But clones do die. They do require more maintenance than storing seeds in a cool dry place. Also, when it comes to outdoor growing, clones do not do as well as plants that start from seed.
Images by Full Spectrum Photography