Haze Story

Hesi Original Sjemenke Hempatia
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The Origins of Haze - Part I

Sometimes it’s all too difficult to see the light through the ‘Haze’. In California during the 1960’s and ’70s there were two men who were known as the ‘Haze Brothers’ who are widely believed to have been the originators of the variety of cannabis known today as ‘Haze’. Described by Sam the Skunk Man as “R. Haze” and “J. Haze”, the two are said to be brothers who are responsible for the initial creation of the variety that would later go on to be a pillar in the breeding community. The brothers are said not to have set out to breed the plants specifically, but that the plants were rather chance hybridizations between varieties that happened to be available in seed form at the time the plants were grown. Many varieties were being introduced to the west coast at the time, some of which were obtained by roaming hippies and surfers who would bring cannabis seeds back with them from far away lands that they had visited for spiritual quest or surfing adventures. Before the two brothers ultimately had a falling out, and went their separate ways, with one reportedly moving to Mexico for some time, they left behind many a stoner with a story to tell from the infamous variety known as “Haze”. With various stories being attributed to the origins of ‘Haze’, the exact pedigree is something of a debate in many circles. Depending on whom you talk with (and for that matter, whom you believe) the pedigree of Haze is Thai x Columbian, with “The Original Haze” said to have genetics from India in the mix as well. But with that being said, there are various factions throughout the marijuana community who believe there is a touch of Mexican Sativa somewhere in there as well; along with the ever present debate on the role Jamaican cannabis has played in some of the more suspect Haze varieties on the market today.

According to ‘Sam the Skunk Man’, an early pioneer in the cannabis industry who is believed to have brought several outstanding varieties of cannabis from the United States overseas to Holland (including ‘Original Haze’), the ‘Original Haze’ was a pure sativa line, that did not have any hermaphrodite tendencies despite its Thai origins and it typically had an above average female to male ratio, in the 60-70% mark, with the best phenotypes typically being the later finishing varieties. Haze came in several colors throughout its early history, with purple, red, silver and other assorted colors mentioned as being available during that time period (incidentally, Sam the Skunk Man claims the Purple Haze was the best of the bunch). In Sam’s version of events detailing the history of ‘Original Haze’, he brought the variety to Holland in 1976 and all subsequent varieties of Haze there after are either directly or indirectly related through hybridization to the lines he originally introduced to Holland at the time. The taste and high of the “Original Haze” have been described by Sam as being fruity, reminiscent of root beer cola, chocolate at times with even colorful words like “sweet and sour” used to describe the numerous terpenes found in the variety of cannabis known as ‘Haze’. Sam has described the F1 ‘Original Haze’ as being consistent in phenotype expression but the subsequent inbred generations that approached the F5 status as “segregated into many different lines”. The strains period of maturation is also something of debate, with the now benefactors of the official ‘Original Haze’, The Flying Dutchmen( who acquired their stock directly from Sam the Skunk Man himself), listing the flowering times at 12-16 weeks. A former staff member of the Flying Dutchmen, known as Amsterdammer, has been quoted as saying he believed the ‘Original Haze’ was usually harvested around the 15-16 week mark at the Cannabis College, a museum/exhibit also ran by the Flying Dutchmen which routinely displays varieties of Cannabis held in the Dutchmen bibliotheca. The effects of the ‘Original Haze’ is described as a “Very potent, clear up, energetic high”, something typically associated with cannabis varieties with Sativa dominant traits. It is worth noting the ‘Original Haze’ held by the Flying Dutchmen has been stabilized, in other words it was inbred quite a bit upon arriving in Holland in the 70’s and therefore does not contain the same amount of diversity found in the original, “Californian Haze”. Touted as a pure breeding variety (the only pure haze available), the ‘Original Haze’ is recommended to use as “breeding stock” that will invariably improve the quality of your existing stock rather than as a variety that should be cultivated solely for commercial/recreational/medicinal use.

All of this above of course, is just one version of events surrounding the history of Haze. Another man, known in the marijuana community as ‘Old Ed’ is also said to have brought “Haze” to Holland directly from the Haze brothers in the 1970’s. With yet another twist to the tale, Neville Schoenmaker, an Australian Cannabis breeder (who is also the father of Dutch Seed Banks) is said to have received seeds from the Haze brothers as well. In fact, his ‘Haze’ varieties were obtained from seeds made in 1969 and allegedly represent the earliest known examples of Haze still available in the world today. Not surprisingly, according to Sam the Skunk Man, Neville had never even seen a Haze plant until 1984 or 1985 (Sam has been quoted as using both dates to describe this theory) when, again, according to Sam the Skunk Man, he had given Neville his “worst” Haze clone because he “did not trust” Neville. Interestingly enough, Sam has also been quoted on different occasions as saying he gave Neville a male clone of the ‘Original Haze’ and at other times has been quoted as stating it was a female clone. The facts, as per Sam the Skunk Man seem cloudy at best, and usually vary depending on the day he is recounting them. So not surprisingly, the exact details surrounding the acquisition of the ‘Haze’ which would later go on to change the face of modern cannabis breeding, is still somewhat of a mystery 30 years after its arrival in Holland. But, as previously mentioned above, another story (and the most reliable) has it that the Haze Brothers met with Neville and personally exchanged the real “Californian Haze” with the Australian breeder and original “King of Cannabis”. The ‘Haze’ had a storied journey upon arrival in the Netherlands, with many famous names, companies, and “organizations” taking part and/or having a hand in its development such as Sacred Seeds, Cultivators Choice, Sensi Seeds, The Green House Seed Company etc. Many of those companies are now bankrupt, no longer in business, mismanagement/ownership changes, etc. A lot of the original stock was assimilated into other cannabis seed companies, or in some extreme cases were simply lost. There may indeed be separate lines of Haze available to the public today, all of which claim to be the genuine article. Speculation abounds that during the development of Haze, which happened over a period years, that the exact pedigree of the variety is determined by the vintage year the variety’s were bred. In other words, different varieties were hybridized over the course of the Hazes development thus resulting in individual pedigree being ultimately determined by the season your particular Haze was hybridized. Haze has also become a generic term in modern times; used to describe numerous sativa varieties that share common traits associated with all sativa cultivars. There are varieties that appear very similar to haze, but have suspect histories and stories behind them that can lead the average man trying to keep track of all the lineages over the edge. Whatever the case may be, it is a documented fact that Neville’s lines of ‘Haze’ have gone on to play a pivotal role in the breeding of some of the most famous varieties of cannabis available in modern times. Varieties such as the world famous Super Silver Haze and others have dominated the various festivals throughout the years including the High Times Cannabis Cup, and can trace their lineage directly to the ‘Haze’ lines obtained and first marketed by Neville at The Seed Bank in the 1980’s.
 
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The Origins of Haze - Part II

During the 1980’s, Neville Shoenmaker, allegedly traveled to the Netherlands to obtain treatment for a drug addiction, because at the time, the Dutch were renowned for their addiction treatment facilities. While there, Neville slowly started the first Dutch marijuana mail order seed bank, and over the course of time became very successful for himself, ultimately becoming a legend in the marijuana breeding community for his efforts to introduce, market, breed and distribute some of the most high profile varieties of cannabis of our time. Varieties such as Haze, Northern Lights, Afghani, Hindu Kush, G13, etc. became household names all over the world and these varieties quickly gained reputations for themselves as some of the most outstanding cannabis strains to ever grace a hillside or greenhouse. All of the aforementioned varieties above have their own unique and colorful histories, but their marketing and distribution to the masses can be accredited too the charismatic Australian breeder known as the original ‘King of Cannabis’, and were all made famous during the 1980’s at Neville’s mansion, The Cannabis Castle, and sold through his catalogs for The Seed Bank, Holland’s first Cannabis Seed distribution company. The Seed Bank, ran by Neville (a man who once boosted to have set the school record for number of strapping’s received in a year (over 900)), was the first Dutch seed bank in the Netherlands and eventually lead to an entire industry of cannabis seed breeders who decided to cash in on the underground market for quality cannabis seeds, many of whom just rehashed Neville’s original varieties with new names, new hybrids and new stories that only continue to grow as the years passed by. Today, many of the varieties who have gained notoriety in the past 20 years are directly descended from the varieties offered at The Seed Bank during the 1980s, with many being the same old genetics, but with a new name and occasionally a different twist. Many of the varieties Neville marketed were later sold to his partner, Ben Dronkers at Sensi Seeds, which later became one of the most prolific seed banks in Holland during the early to mid 90s, likely attributed to the fact they were using stock purchased directly from Neville which were the originals that were marketed from the early days at The Seed Bank. Neville went on to many endeavors in Holland, working as both a breeder for select companies, as well as providing marijuana for many Dutch coffee shops, even owning his own coffee shop.Sometime in the late 1980’s or early ‘90s he was arrested in Perth, Australia after being listed on America’s Top Ten Most Wanted and spent a year and a half in a western Australia jail fighting an illegal extradition case with grounds for an appeal being that Neville held both a Dutch and Australian passport. From there, Neville spent quite a few years afterwards underground before re-emerging in the early half of the 21st century as a breeder and consultant with Mr. Nice Seeds, along side fellow Australian breeder, and legend in his own right, Shantibaba. Today, many of the top haze hybrids available on the market can be found at Mr. Nice Seeds, all of which can be traced back to the original ‘Haze’ lines obtained by Neville during the ‘80s which have gone on to win numerous awards in the cannabis industry. Along with Neville, Shantibaba (formally the Founder/Owner/Breeder of The Green House Seed Company in 1994) has taken many of the legendary old school lines of cannabis(and new school), and continued to set the standard for all other seed companies in the industry to follow. Almost all of the awards attributed to the top ‘Hazes’ today can be traced back to stock possessed by Neville and Shantibaba at the Mr. Nice seed bank.

Some of the top haze varieties offered by Mr. Nice Seeds, (fronted by Legendary International Hash Smuggler Howard Marks) include the infamous Super Silver Haze, which is a Northern Lights, Skunk#1 and Haze hybrid described as “the stash of stashes” that leaves one “gasping for reality” after only a few short hits from this multiple time Cannabis Cup winner. Along with Super Silver Haze, its sister variety Mango Haze has quickly garnered a reputation for herself as being amongst the finest strains of cannabis available from Holland at present time. On paper, the differences between the two varieties appears slight, however they are quite significant. The actual pedigree of Super Silver Haze consist of (Skunk x Haze C) x (Northern Lights#5 x Haze C). With Haze C being the result of a union of two pure haze varieties that were discovered from Haze seed stock made in 1969. This is where things can get confusing for a novice gardener, there yet exists another pure Haze variety, known in the Mr. Nice Seed circles as Haze A, which also consists of a union between two pure Hazes plants that date back to 1969. Both Haze A and Haze C are related varieties. The Mango Haze father plant is a (Skunk x Haze C) variety, which is also said to be the same father as Super Silver Haze, while the mother plant is a separate (Northern Lights #5x Haze C) variety, the sister plant to the mother of Super Silver Haze. You may have to stop and think about that for a second, but it should come to you with some time. It should be noted, technically both Mango Haze and Super Silver Haze are 50% Haze varieties, however Mango Haze overall in terms of growth characteristic appears to be the more Sativa of the two sister varieties. Having grown both varieties personally, I can tell you they are both excellent and well worth the time and effort required to grow them. Along with Super Silver Haze and Mango Haze, perhaps the most elusive and sought after ‘Haze’ variety on the market, is the aptly named ‘Neville’s Haze’. A variety which is touted as the most powerful cannabis known to mankind, the Neville’s Haze is a 3/4’s pure Haze variety that was crossed with a Northern Light’s variety in order to keep the flowering times remotely reasonable for most cultivators. The pedigree of ‘Neville’s Haze’ is actually Haze C on the male side of the lineage, crossed with a (Northern Lights x Haze A) female variety. Again, Haze C is the result of a union between two pure haze variety’s from 1969, with Haze A also sharing the same pedigree, which itself, is also the result of a union between two pure haze variety’s from 1969. Other Haze varieties available from Mr. Nice Seeds include (Afghan x Skunk) x (Afghan x Haze), (Afghan x Haze), Mango Haze x Neville’s Haze, Early Pearl x (Skunk x Haze), Mango Widow (Mango Haze x White (Black) Widow), Early Queen x Haze, and La Nina, who’s pedigree consist of the original White Widow father (South Indian hybrid) crossed to a pure Haze female, which is neither Haze A or Haze C.

In conclusion, the true history of Haze may never be known for certain. There are different versions of the legend, all of which seem to be cemented in some kind of fact but which are recounted differently according to the individuals you speak with. There are constants in the story though, such as the fact the Haze variety comes from two individuals known as the Haze Brothers, who were from the west coast of the United States of America who worked with numerous tropical sativa varieties in their quest to create what we now know today as Haze. There are numerous questionable haze’s available on the market as well, with the term “Haze” used quite loosely in modern times when describing varieties with known sativa characteristics as a species, not as an individual, specifically named variety. For those looking for haze varieties that are without question the best in overall quality , (with the awards, history and praise to back up their assertions), Mr. Nice seeds headed up by the legendary Shantibaba, Neville and Howard Marks may very well be your best bet in the quest for the true and authentic ‘Haze’.
 
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Haze and History according to Shantibaba

"The Mr Nice Seed Bank is owned by Shantibaba, and incorporates the talents of another equally experienced breeder of exceptionally high quality, and operates with the collaboration of Howard Marks. These three individuals command a huge wealth of experience in producing cannabis strains. They have produced a large amount of the winning strains of cannabis since 1990, including such legendary strains as Northern Lights No. 5, NL5 x Haze, Super Silver Haze, White Widow, White Rhino, and White Shark." From the MrNice homepage

"Now to clear up the story and myths that go around, due mainly to people in the industry (other seed companies) who are more interested in making money than giving information that is correct. Haze brothers worked on the Haze’s and they did get to Sam and Nevil (owner of THE SEEDBANK…and then Ben Dronkers retailed Nevils strains under the label of SENSI SEEDBANK after Nevil had some jail time in Australia .Nevil was the first Seed Bank or company to exist in Holland so his legendary strains such as Northern lights 5, Ultra skunk , Nl5 Haze, Early pearl , Early girl, Shiva Skunk….and so on became the basis for a lot of offspring seed companies that followed in the 90s.

In fact companies like Dutch passion and Nirvana began by copying Nevils seeds from the F1 seed…but most of them would never say so as they are Dutch business men who see dollars first and not genetics….Sam and Nevil use to work a bit on strains together but when it was revealed that Sam and his crew of Americans in Holland all were part of informants for the DEA in America on a radio program in Holland they split to the UK to do other things. Sam never started or owned a seed company so his claim to all the strains that became famous years ago are not really warranted. He did however do a lot of work on Skunk and shared some seed with Nevil, but as you know for breeding you cannot just take any plant and make a strain like Greenhouse does nowadays. I was working in Australia on varieties like Mullumbimby madness and Thai and Columbia strains of sativas, as well as a lot of original Afghan stock. When I came to Holland in 1990 with my seed stock I linked up with Nevil , and used Arjan’s coffeeshops to introduce strains of cannabis and a little later the seed versions, but we never gave any of the plants to him.Arjan just sold seed produced by Nevil and myself. I co founded the Greenhouse Seed Company with Arjan in 1994(unlike Arjan’s claim it began in 1985 from him alone…he was angry that I sold my half share to him and left in 1998 to Switzerland and to open Mr Nice Seedbank with Nevil and Howard…but I was and still am the sole owner of MNS). In 1995 I came out with the seed version of White widow, then White Rhino 1996 and White Shark 1997…el nino1998 , Himalayan gold and so on. Nevil and I co worked on some Haze strains during the early to mid 90s of which Super Silver Haze and Mango Haze were two strains that eventually came out of this work.The seed was sold under the Greenhouse Seed co label but Nevil held those plants and only sold the seed of these varieties as well as the weed version that won all those awards.So as to help Arjan sell the correct weed we set up our own independent grow rooms and produced those weeds and Arjan bought them all so as no other Dutch shop could compete. In those days the Greenhouse sold the correct weed and seed.But in 1998 when I won all the cups with Nevil(including Shantibaba’s Hash for best nederhash) I was givien a better offer by a Swiss group to set up a medical cannabis farm and distil oil…so I sold my share to Arjan and left. A lot of people were shocked as they thought we were a solid unit but actually Arjan was over the top already with his success and his ego was too much to listen to and considering the Swiss thing had unlimited possibility where as Holland was stuck at being glorified dope dealers….as it still is today. Medical was more my interest.

I took all my plants which made the seeds, especially my fathers and Nevil put all his plants with me so together we had a library of all genetics possible in the cannabis world. Nevil soon sold his part in one of the coffeeshops and had a big problem with Arjan too…but it took another year or two for them to split. Take a look at the High times Cannabis cup after 1998, so 1999 onwards….only while Nevil was there did they win with SSH, but that soon left with Nevil and Arjan even got caught cheating or trying to bribe people to win cup…so was disqualified one year.

A lot of stories exist about the Widow family and a lot of people had access to some of the female versions I left in Holland and soon began claiming to be the creature etc….but the original seed versions that won the first cup in 1995 came from my plants not anyone else’s. Till today we have all the plants in original form. Franco, the Italian working for Arjan now does not even know the original plants as he did not come on the scene till after I left. I have nothing against him at all but he is paid by Arjan andis part of that show so believes what ever is feed to him. The GHSco tried to get things going by buying some seed Nev and I had for sale from a guy in Holland during this time. The guy called me up and told me Arjan bought a few thousand euros of this seed and a year later came out with seed under the well known names he had used previously. The growers could not know this until they grew it out and considering a lot of people never grew it before they did not even know what they were looking at and still do not. So many seed companies use the names like White widow but the genetics are all different. I wrote out the true origins of the plant and everyone copied that so it looks like everyone is selling the same genetics but it is they are all selling a name that sells…nothing more.Ask Franco to show you a photo of the original parents that make the widow…he cannot as he has never seen them.The Ghsco linked up with others like Ingemar who claims to be the widow breeder but he is only a grower and he never came out with a seed version until after I made it in 1995. But all the facts have become mixed and people try to confuse the grower by claiming things that no one else can prove to be correct or wrong…as there are no rules in the seed game since all cannabis is actually not recognized in the official plant world as sub species due to it being drug related. So in actual fact no one owns nothing…even all the trademarked R after the names you see from various seed companies are all bullshit as they are not really able to protect any names as the plants do not officially exist…but that is another story.

In the late 90s I gave plants to Soma, and he began a seed company a year later too…mixing his skunks to my males. This has occurred many times to me just look at the Spanish seed companies and 10 years ago…none existed until I went there in 1995 and gave away 3 kilos of seed to growers via Canamo magazine….but that is another story too.

Now the female seed story saved a lot of seed companies who never really breed seed as you only need a F1 female and chemicals….no need for a male…..so go figure why companies like the Greenhouse or Dinafem etc…set up selling female seed…..the money the demand and not really needing skill with males are all prerequisites to make a female seed. It is therefore obvious to me why Arjan (who is a very marketing person nothing more) and Franco come out every year with a new name plant…they buy an original F1 seed and donk it with silver nitrates and there you have there products…but now adays there are so many doing it it is incredible. Even companies have called me to tell me they feminised a clone of Critical mass in spain and call it critical plus….but say nothing more than thanks. So actually I really do not care any longer about other companies and what they say. We at MNS sell the real versions that won the original awards and made the legends…nowadays it is all confused and everyone is going feminised…except MNS. We exist so people who like to breed will be able to with the original true breed plants that come from selection and natural collection from traveling around the world. As they say, an empty barrel makes a louder noise…and we are full.
ShantiBaba"
 
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The Haze Craze

Hazy Origin

Our tale begins in the late 1960s in Santa Cruz, where a mild climate and a dry autumn combine to allow farmers to extend their outdoor growing season beyond October. Here, along the California coastline, the Haze Brothers cultivated an exotic variety of pot that quickly earned fame within the area’s small circle of cannabis connoisseurs at that time. The Original Haze, rumored to contain tropical genetics from Thailand, Mexico, and Colombia, delivered an electric sativa jolt. The high was cerebral and uplifting, with almost no ceiling to the buzz.
Joe Haze, one of the aforementioned Haze Brothers, was quoted in Grow American #63 (dated November of 1980) as follows: “The stuff they grow up there [in Northern Cali] is mostly indica, but it’s harvested early to get it in before the frost. In our county the flowers pump out resin until December, and Haze pot is from sativa seeds.” Four Haze phenotypes arose, nicknamed Gold, Silver, Purple, and Blue.

Despite the buzz, Haze seeds remained scarce for years until the late 1970s, when famed breeder Sam Skunkman started creating and refining his own batches. By 1984, he had taken them to Holland and started selling them under his Sacred Seeds moniker. With a flowering time from 12 to as much as 16 weeks, the Original Haze earned a reputation as a finicky, difficult plant to grow, and many preferred planting Skunk and Northern Lights seeds instead. (The Original Haze is still available today in seed form from Flying Dutchmen Seeds.)
However, those who did grow the Haze to fruition were rewarded with long, sticky spears of spicy nuggets. These colas had to be coaxed out of the plant, with growers being careful not to overfeed or overwater the lanky limbs; also, stakes or trellises are a must, to keep the tops from falling down under their own weight. These long, thin leaves and wispy buds are characteristic of pure sativas such as the Haze.

The Haze Craze
In the 1980s, the legendary seed producer Nevil Schoenmakers bought a selection of beans from a connoisseur in New York that included the Haze Brothers’ Original Haze. After he took those seeds to Amsterdam and embarked on a breeding project to stabilize them, Schoenmakers released Nevil’s Haze to the general cannabis-smoking public, and everything changed. As marijuana historian Mr. Haze 420 said to me, “Nevil’s Haze is some of the most powerful sativa I’ve ever smoked.”

By the end of the decade, Haze hybrids were making it easier for growers and smokers to truly appreciate the amazing qualities of the strain. Nevil’s Seed Bank released NL #5 x Haze in 1989, and Sensi Seeds followed shortly thereafter with their Silver Haze, winning the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup that same year. In the 1990s, Green House Seeds ruled the sativa scene with their Super Silver Haze.

Around that same time, industrious growers in Florida began producing a kelpy, bright orange product called Miami Haze. These tight little nuggets traveled up the I-95 corridor to East Coast hubs such as New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia, and quickly changed the sensi scene with their characteristic “up” high. Nicknames such as Crippies, Piff and Pude (pronounced pu-day) denote a higher-quality product with almost psychedelic effects. Many a smoker has thought he was having a panic attack after experiencing the racing heart associated with these nearly pure sativas.
These days, Haze hybrids abound, winning Cannabis Cups regularly and wowing the visitors to Amsterdam’s coffeeshops. They’re a perfect daytime smoke, inspiring creativity and wonderful walks in the park or museum visits. Subtle flavors of root beer, chocolate and sandalwood dance on the tongue long after a Haze spliff is smoked, and the hashish made from Haze plants is a wonder to behold. Haze will continue to win awards and is an excellent source of breeding material in creating new flavors and aromas.

As for the notorious Purple Haze debate, here’s what Sam Skunkman had to say on a popular weed forum: “Yes, Purple Original Haze was absolutely a reality. It was around for more than a decade in the late ’60s and ’70s, and from then on in the form of hybrids. It came in silver, blue, reddish, as well as purple and almost black. I grew, smoked, saw them all. They were real. Purple Haze was Original Haze with Colombian bloodlines [i.e., phenotype].”
 
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Haze's roots and Sam the Skunkman

Haze has a somewhat clouded history, to say the least. The accepted story is that it has it's roots in the work of the Haze Bros in Corralitos, near Santa Cruz in central California between 1970 and 1975. The Haze Bros grew out many of the finest sativas from imported seeds from Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and South India and hybridised them. Robert Connell Clarke explains the origins of Haze in his 'Origins of the Species' article published in Issue 60 of Cannabis Culture magazine:

“The Original Haze is a late-maturing variety from Central California and was almost always grown in greenhouses, allowing it to finish in December or January. Original Haze was always connoisseur stash, and even in the 1970s it sold for as much as $200 an ounce. Original Haze is a pure sativa stabilised hybrid arising from crossing all of the best females with a male of a different imported sativa variety each year. Starting with Colombian/Mexican hybrids grown from seeds from the first crop, a South Indian male plant was used as a pollen source the second year, and a Thai male plant was used the third year. Depending on which year Haze seeds were collected, they resembled either Colombian, South Indian of Thai plants. Original Haze varies in taste from citrus Thai notes through the gamut of sativa highlights to the deep spicy purple Colombian flavour most common in Dutch Haze cultivars.”

The exact cultivars grown by the Haze Bros are unknown, but the Colombians are said to include Highland Gold and Wacky Weed, the South Indian originated in the Kerala region. The selection of the Colombian and Mexican plants being based on which of them would mature under glass at Santa Cruz's latitude (36.9N). The Haze Bros were sensimilla growers and sold the various phenotypes of Haze under names such as Purple Haze, Silver Blue Haze and Lime Green Haze, the purple batches fetching upto $500 an ounce according to Sam the Skunkman.

The Bros were growers not breeders and never worked their hybrids into a consistent seedline, this happened later when one of their Santa Cruz neighbours and cannabis collaborators, Sam the Skunkman worked with their seed to produce the Haze seedline we know today. Sam explained a little about the process in a post at icmag.com in 2008:

“Original Haze was fairly consistant as F1's but by the time it was f5 and above it segregated out into many different related lines. I have not worked Original Haze as much as tried to save it, I collected as much seed as I could in the early 70's grew them and did free pollinations and did minimal selection to ensure I saved as many genes as I could. That was in the 70's & 80's now I have clones for the last 20 years. My Original Haze is not done being worked on that is why I tell people to use it as breeding materials.”

Haze genetics were brought to a worldwide audience in 1984 when Sam the Skunkman moved to Holland, taking the Haze genes with him and thus introducing them to the commercial cannabis seed business. In his handwritten Cultivator's Choice seed catalogue #4 from fall 1985, Sam lists Haze as #10 in his line-up of ten strains:

“Original Haze Sativa Pure, (Selfed)
All sativa but is an inconsistent hybrid. 10% are spectacular, 75% good, 10% poor. Truly superior sweet taste. High incredibly clear and up energy. Height 2-3m. Yield: 100-300gm. Harvest: December (flowers 3 months for quality). Will not mature outdoors in Holland or Northern California. Haze is Cultivator's Choice's personal favourite.”

At this point Sam didn't offer any Haze hybrids, however Haze doesn't work very well indoors under lights so it was inevitable that hybrids would be made to allow indoor growers to experience a part of the Haze genetics.
 
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Neville of Greenhouse seeds and the hybridization of Haze

At the same time as Sam was bringing a handful of the best American genetics to Holland, a young Dutch/Australian man called Neville Schoenmakers was raking in huge piles of cash dollars through his company The Seed Bank. Neville had placed an ad in High Times in 1984 and immediately the envelopes stuffed with dollar bills began arriving by the sackload. According to Steven Hager's 'Inside Cannabis Castle' article published in High Times in March 1987:

“In the last year his company supplied $500,000 worth of seeds to 15,000 American growers. If you smoked high-quality marijuana sometime in the last three years, chances are the buds were grown with Neville's stock.”

Neville collected as many seeds as he could from a myriad of sources and grew them out in search of breeding plants. He purchased an old Victorian house located near the German border which he named 'The Cannabis Castle' and converted the lower two floors into sophisticated growing facilities, the gardens being filled with greenhouses. Neville obtained Haze seeds and from these he grew three plants which he called A, B and C; A and C were males, B was a female.

The Haze controversy begins at this point and revolves around the origin of the Haze seeds that Neville grew his three Haze plants from, Sam the Skunkman insists that Neville obtained his Haze seeds from him after he arrived in Holland; on the other hand, Neville told the story of obtaining the seeds from a guy in New York who had an old seed collection and the seeds were from Haze Bros stock circa 1969.

So Sam says he was the source of Neville's Haze seeds, Neville says not; only Sam and Neville know the truth, so let's leave the controversy there and focus on the Haze genetics themselves!

Sam himself created a number of Haze hybrids with Haze x Skunk #1 and Haze x Keralan South Indian Sativa being the two that are most widely known and are sold by The Flying Dutchmen as Fuma Con Diablos and Haze Mist.

Neville had three Haze plants which he called A, B and C. A and C were males, B was a female. The Haze B female was not an impressive looking plant and didn't have a pleasant high when smoked, so it was discarded. The Haze A male had a spicy smell/taste whereas the Haze C male had a more dark earthy Chocolate Thai type smell and taste. It is thought that the A male is a Colombian dominant pheno, the C being a Thai dominant one.

In the 1988 The Seed Bank catalogue Neville writes:
"Haze is a late sativa from America, widely agreed by experts to be the best pot in the world. Very popular in the 70's, it nearly became extinct in recent years as growers switched to easier varieties. We managed to salvage a few viable seeds from the last crop grown in America and we have used them to produce some remarkable hybrids. Haze is known for an extreme, almost psychedelic spaciness. The fragrance is complex and deep with a dry flowery perfume over a base of dark leathery animal tones. When used in a hybrid it adds fascinating notes of depth and complexity to the taste, as well as a unique addition to the high. While not for everyone, the most jaded connoisseur will often find haze irresistible.”

The first Haze hybrid to appear was Haze x NL #1 f-1 hybrid, listed in the 1988 The Seed Bank Catalogue, it is unknown what parent plants made up this strain which was only sold for one year. NL #1 is/was a true-breeding Afghani so both males and females were available for breeding, perhaps Neville crossed a NL#1 male to his only Haze female (B).

Neville made a number of crosses using his two Haze males; He crossed the the Haze A male to his Northern Lights #5 and Hashplant female clones and a Skunk #1 female (#17 from seed). He also crossed the Haze C male to his G13 female clone, a Hawaiian Sativa female and a Durban Sativa female. The Hawaiian and Durban hybrids both won Cannabis Cups in the pure sativa category which gives a very strong endorsement of the breeding pedigree of the Haze C male. The G13 x Haze C male hybrid appeared in The Seed Bank catalogue in 1989 but the genetics apparently didn't combine well and the seeds were only sold for one year. The Hashplant and Skunk hybrids were never offered for sale, but the NL5 x Haze A male cross turned out to be something special, and Neville's original description in the 1989 The Seed Bank catalogue has always made me chuckle:

"HAZE X NL#5
1989 - Due to tremendous customer demand, we have spent years searching for a superb Sativa/Indica hybrid that is suited for indoor growing but still retains the unique sativa qualities in the high. The Haze X NL#5 hybrid is the result of this search. A note of warning: Adverse effects have been known to occur among inexperienced smokers, particularly when combined with alcohol. Side effects may include nausea, dizzyness, fainting and loss of bowel and bladder control. Extreme introspective behavior is considered normal."

the 1995 Sensi Seed Bank Catalogue states:
“This hybrid is the pinnacle of achievement in Cannabis breeding today. The result: an extremely potent plant with a great Sativa high. At the Harvest festivals in the early nineties this strain was already miles ahead of its competitors. Even today it has not yet been surpassed. The high yields compensate for the slightly longer flowering period. Hybrid vigour provides for lush growth, heavy bud formation and abundant resin. A true champion!”

The NL5 x Haze A seedline was to become the source of breeding plants that form the foundations of the later Haze hybrids created by Neville and Shantibaba – Super Silver Haze, Neville's Haze and Mango Haze. As it plays such an important role as a building block in the Haze story, let us familiarise ourselves with Northern Lights #5 (NL5). Steven Hager's description from his 'Inside Cannabis Castle' article published in High Times in March 1987 gives you a good idea why Neville chose it as a breeding plant:

State of the art indoor indica. Originating out of the Pacific Northwest, it is the result of many years of indoor breeding – three to four crops per year for a total of perhaps thirty to forty generations in the last ten years. The picture in Neville's catalogue is a cutting of my personal favourite, C1 #5 f1. Unfortunately, no seeds are available of the strain, only cuttings. If anyone can come up with anything more resinous than this, I'd like to see it. Does not have much taste. The breeder bred a very specific goal in mind: high resin content. He certainly succeeded. The grass is a mellow indica that gets you pleasantly stoned – almost the opposite of Afghani #1. Although there are tastier varieties, I could smoke this one all day.

Shantibaba described the NL5 cutting in an internet post at mrnice.nl in 2008:
“The origins of the NL we have been using to breed with are Afghan, worked on in America in the 80s and Holland...one of the plants that has lead to a multitude of hybrids. There is no Thai in our version it is pretty much a 100% indica plant finishes 45-55 days and is exceptionally resinous.”

An exceptionally resinous clone that represented the state of the art in indoor indica genetics is the obvious choice to hybridise a pure sativa like Haze. The great success subsequently enjoyed by the Haze x NL5 hybrids and their derivatives shows that Neville made a wise choice when he crossed Haze to the Northern Lights #5 cutting.

The Cannabis Cup
While in Holland to meet Neville and write the 'Inside Cannabis Castle' article, High Times editor Steven Hager also met up with Sam the Skunkman and came up with the idea for the Cannabis Cup after hearing Sam's tales of the harvest festivals held in California in the 1970s. Held in November 1988, the first High Times Cannabis Cup was an informal affair with only four companies – Neville's The Seed Bank, Ben Dronker's Sensi Seed Club, Super Sativa Seed Club (SSSC) and Cultivator's Choice (Sam the Skunkman). Sam won with Skunk #1 but decided he was disenchanted with the idea of competitions and retired from them. Sam sold his genetics to Neville, Ben Dronkers and Eddy Rekedder (who later founded The Flying Dutchmen Seed Company and The Cannabis College) so ensuring the genes he brought with him from the US became some of the building blocks of modern hybrids.

The same four companies contested the second Cannabis Cup the following year and Neville's The Seed Bank won a clean sweep of all the awards using the genetics purchased from Sam. Haze x South African Sativa winning the Pure Sativa Cup and Early Pearl x Skunk No.1 x Northern Lights No.5 x Haze taking the Mostly Sativa Cup. The following year saw Neville repeat the clean sweep, Haze x Hawaiian wining the pure Sativa Cup and Northern Lights #5 x Haze the Mostly Sativa Cup. Northern Lights #5 won the Pure Indica Cup.
 
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Super Silver Haze, Mango Haze and Neville's Haze

Despite their current claims to have been an established seed company since 1985, the history of Arjan Roskam's Greenhouse dates back to the 10th of August 1992 when he opened his first coffeeshop Greenhouse Tolstraat in Amsterdam's Old South. A second shop called Greenhouse Namaste opened on the Waterlooplein on the 21st of April 1995 and around the same time Arjan teamed up with Australian breeder Shantibaba (Scott Blakey). They launched Greenhouse Seeds in time for the 1995 Cannabis Cup, the strains were bred by Shantibaba and included famous names like White Widow, White Rhino, Great White Shark and El Nino. Greenhouse won multiple cups with these Shantibaba-bred strains, dominating the High Times Cannabis Cup in the same way Neville had in the early years of the event.

A third coffeeshop called Greenhouse Centrum opened on the 1st of June 1997 on Oudezijds Voorburgwal in the Red Light District and after retiring from full-time breeding Neville became a co-owner of this shop with Arjan.Neville and Shantibaba began working together on breeding projects and each chose a female from a large crop of over 1000 NL5 x Haze A plants, the female Neville chose became the female half of Super Silver Haze (SSH), whereas Shantibaba's choice became the mother of Mango Haze.

SSH was created by crossing Neville's selected NL5 x Haze A to a Skunk x Haze A male. It was entered in the Hydro category of the 1997 Cannabis Cup and won 1st prize. SSH seeds were made available during the 1998 Cup and SSH again won the Hydro category as well as taking the overall 1st place and El Nino, another Haze hybrid by Shantibaba placing second overall. SSH took 1st again at the 1999 Cannabis Cup to complete a remarkable hat-trick of victories. Here is Shantibaba's description of SSH from mrnice.nl:

“A champion of champions since winning its hat-trick at the 1997, 1998, and 1999 High Times Cannabis Cups and comprising of the most commercial strains known to the uncivilized world: Skunk, NL and Haze. Such achievements confer an undoubtedly regal pedigree. It has an excellent breed for those who wish to possess the stash of stashes and leaves one gasping for reality. This complex hybrid is in the cutting edge in practical Haze hybrids, designed to astound the grower and consumer alike. Recommendation is unnecessary as most people can not see the Haze for their daze.”

Neville's Haze

Shantibaba and Neville decided to make a new more Haze dominant hybrid and crossed the Haze C male to a selected NL5 x Haze female, this was sold by GHS as Neville's Haze, it was a cup winner in 1998, the year it was released. Neville's Haze is the most Haze dominant hybrid that will perform indoors, under lights and having both the A and C males in it's lineage, it contains phenotypes that express both the Colombian and Thai sides of the Haze genetics. Here is the original description from the GHS catalogue:

Pedigree: Almost pure Haze with just a hint of Indica (Northern Lights).
Awards: Never entered in any competition.
Strength: The most potent variety of its kind on or off the market. Not recommended for inexperienced smokers - too trippy - too profound.
Flowering Times: Indoors: should be started under 12 hours of lights. The earliest will finish in 14 weeks (25%). Those that take much longer than this are usually discarded as not practical.
Outdoors: should be grown in the Tropics + started just before the on set of autumn. Yields are surprisingly good - the longer flowering time is usually compensated with extra large yields, both in and outdoors. Not for the novice smoker or grower.
Specifications: ~ Flower: 14 + weeks ~ Price: $175.00 (10 seeds) ~ Code: nh

Here is Shantibaba's description of Neville's Haze from mrnice.nl:
A tribute to the father of all modern seed companies, Neville Schoenmakers. There is something very special about this 3/4 sativa that those in the know will recognize once they smell the end product. It can be difficult to know what to base your selective reasoning on, but the plants that go longer than 16 weeks indoor will really not be of value in the end to indoor cultivators.A tip for those who do find a long flowering plant they wish to keep...clones usually finish 2-3 weeks quicker than the seed mother plant and therefore will give the grower a possibility to finish something that normally needs the tropics to grow in.The full flavor is sativa all the way so for you Indica lovers this plant will not be for you! It was made by combining a pure Haze to a NL5/Haze, thus creating probably one of the most influential plants of our time , certainly for flavor , aroma and effect. It is a must if you are within 10' of the equator for outdoor cultivation , but indoor would be recommended in other regions. All seed companies owe the ground work and origin of modern cultivars to Nevil . Like the man himself...the legend grows!

Shantibaba ended his involvement with Greenhouse Seeds after the 1998 Cannabis Cup and soon after, Neville also departed. Shantibaba explains what happened in the History of Mr Nice article published on the mrnice.nl website:

“I did not particularly like the event so decided to retire from it that year. Coincidentally my relationship with my Dutch partner deteriorated, and egos went crazy. As a result, I sold my interest in the Greenhouse Seed Company and, as a sole trader, set up Mr Nice Seedbank (MNS), which has always been and remains a Dutch company. Shortly afterwards, Neville also forego his interest in Greenhouse. MNS never entrusted plants to non-growers, including our ex-Dutch partners.”

Shantibaba took his breeding plants and seed collection and moved to Switzerland to continue his breeding work as he explains:

“In 1999, Dutch law changed and no longer permitted the production of seeds. Due to the Dutch gedogen law, however, selling seed imported from another country remained legal. We wanted to fulfil our project without breaking any country’s laws. Accordingly, MNS moved its growing operations to Switzerland, where the law permits growing cannabis for seed production. Many Dutch seed companies lost plants, mother rooms, and seed crops, but in Switzerland, MNS seed production blossomed.”

After Shantibaba and Neville parted ways with Greenhouse Seeds the details of the Haze genetics being offered by Arjan become difficult to discern, certainly the parent plants being used to make the Haze varieties offered had changed as Shanti and Neville took them when they left. However, this did not stop Greenhouse from continuing to sell the same Haze varieties they had before. I have no idea whether the varieties were reproduced by finding new parents from original seedstock or if the genetics were from another source, only Arjan and a select few at Greenhouse Seeds know the truth and to speculate is largely pointless. Arjan owns the copyright on the names White Widow, White Rhino, Great White Shark and others so is legally able to sell seeds with these names; however there are no laws governing the authenticity of the genetics so while the name remains the same, the genetics are subject to change. A good explanation was given by Shantibaba in a 2007 internet post:
Since the turn of the millenium, Greenhouse have released a host of new Haze varieties such as Arjan's Hazes 1, 2 and 3; Arjan's Ultra Hazes 1, 2 and 3 and Strawberry Haze. Concrete details about these strains and their genetic makeup are not readily available so it is unknown if they contain any of the Haze genetics introduced by Neville or if they are even Haze variations at all. Regardless of the authenticity or quality of his genetics, Arjan ensured that the Haze name remained a hot item in the world of cannabis seeds. Arjan's Ultra Haze #1 was created by crossing a Neville's Haze plant to a sativa from Laos and was entered in the 2006 Cannabis Cup, everyone who smoked it was unimpressed and very surprised when it won 1st prize.

When originally offered for sale, the lineage of Arjan's Haze #1 was listed as Nevilles Haze X Super Silver Haze X "secret haze" and Arjan’s Haze #2 as Neville’s Haze X Super Silver Haze X Laotian. It is unknown if these are the actual lineages or whether the seed was created by Greenhouse themselves or bought in from an outside source.

The lineage of Arjan's Strawberry Haze is listed as Swiss Sativa X [Northern Light #5 X Haze], this suggests that the strain was bought in seed form from a Swiss based grower as a Haze x Erdpurt hybrid was popular among outdoor growers during the brief Swiss cannabis growing boom in the early 2000s. Erdpurt is a traditional Swiss strawberry flavoured outdoor cultivar that is very hardy but low in potency and resin production. Arjan's Strawberry Haze was met with distinctly negative reactions on it's release in 2006, being derided by one veteran Haze smoker as having 'no taste, no THC, real hay'.

Meanwhile Shantibaba (as Mr Nice Seedbank) continued to offer Neville's Haze, Super Silver Haze, Mango Haze and El Nino (renamed La Nina as GHS owned the copyright on the name El Nino) using the same parent plants as he did in the years 1995 to 1998 while working at GHS.
 
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Soma and G13Haze

In 2001 an unexpected new source of Haze genetics entered the scene, but yet again, rather than being completely new they were from the original Haze hybridisation work of Neville over a decade earlier. An expatriate American breeder called Soma resurrected some of Neville's genetics after being given ten old seeds by Ed Rosenthal. Soma tells the story on page 78 of his book Organic Marijuana Soma Style: “In 2001 I tried sprouting some very old G-13 Haze seeds that came from Neville of cannabis genetics fame, They were created in 1988. I had ten of these 13-year-old seeds. Only one sprouted and it was a male. That left me with but one choice – in order to use the genetics, I had to breed the male to some of my existing strains and select some choice female phenotypes. As the G-13 Haze crosses circulate the globe, many growers are totally enthused by what they have come up with from these seeds. It has brought a heavy sativa influence to all the strains it has been hybridised with.”

Neville created the G13 x Haze cross in 1988 using the Haze C male and the female G13 clone. Neville describes the G13 cutting in the 1988 The Seed Bank catalogue: “G13 is an outstanding indica cutting reputedly 'liberated' from the government research program in Mississippi, and now we have it. Widely grown as a commercial indoor plant in the US, G-13 has proven to be one of the best breeding plants in our collection. G13 hybrids have fast indoor flowering, high resin production,excellent potency, and extreme hybrid vigour.”

G13 x Haze seeds were offered for sale in the 1989 The Seed Bank catalogue but were only on sale for 1 year, apparently the genetics did not combine well. Neville never used the G13 x Haze genetics in any subsequent work and instead chose to work with the NL5 x Haze cross. The G13Haze male Soma found leans heavily to the Haze side of it's genetics, so I guess Soma's thinking was that he basically had a version of the Haze C male but with some G13 influence. Neville and Shantibaba proved that the Haze C male is a great breeding plant so Soma would have thought he had a similarly classic breeding male to work with. Soma wrote in his Hybridisation article: “In my newest crossings between the G-13 Haze male (wanted to bring more of the sativa genetics into the mix) and Buddha’s Sister, Somango, Somativa, White Willow, Lavender, Citralah, White Light, New York City Diesel, Rockbud, Reclining Buddha, and Free Tibet, I am finding some of the finest plants ever.”

Other seed sellers have subsequently used Soma's G13Haze male cutting in their own hybrids. DNA Genetics have created several strains using this male such as Connie Chung, Sour Cream, Super Cannalope, Chocolope, C13 Haze and Martian Mean Green. Barney's Farm have also sold seeds created by a Dutch breeder using the G13haze male, in 2005 they won a Cannabis Cup for best sativa with a C5 x G13Haze male cross under the name Willy Nelson. The same breeder has also crossed the G13Haze male to Soma's Amnesia Haze and the A5 and C5 Haze cuts, these hybrids have been available in seed form from several shops in Amsterdam. Barney's Farm actually sell a seed line called G13Haze but it's exact lineage is unknown, it is listed by Barney's as G13 x Hawaiian sativa, but as the G13 clone has been dead for over a decade, it is more likely that is is a hybrid using pollen from the G13Haze male.

Self-confessed Haze lover ojd made this comment on the G13Haze male in an internet post on *********.com in December 2008: “I have grown or smoked a lot(or most) of the varieties crossed to the G13Haze male by a lot of the companies – DNA, Soma and more and I must say if your looking to bring Haze flavours and qualities to the mix this is the clone you want, it really hazes up anything you cross it to and can even overtake the cross with mad haze.”

A of DNA Genetics had this so say about the G13Haze male in a post on *********.com in November 2008: “we have been working with this male for 4-5 years now and we are always finding great things from him.“

Given that the G13Haze male is the only plant known to be in existence grown from original seed made by Neville in 1988, it is hardly representative of that hybrid. Also, being a Haze dominant phenotype with minimal G13 influence being apparent in his progeny, it can be considered that it has similar breeding properties to the original Haze C male that fathered it. The Haze C male has proven to be a great breeding plant, being used in many crosses by Neville and Shantibaba with great success; it therefore follows logically that the G13Haze male, being similar to his father should have similar breeding potential. The great success enjoyed by Soma and DNA Genetics in recent years with their hybrids using the G13Haze male therefore reinforces the reputation of it's Haze C male father and his influence on the commercial cannabis genepool.

Soma's Amnesia Haze

Soma also offers a seedline called Amnesia Haze which he claims he created from a Laotian sativa female and Shantibaba's Afghan/Hawaiian male, the strain description he wrote gives no clues to the lineage however: “Amnesia Haze is one of the finest Hazes Soma Seeds has to offer. The smell and taste are unforgettable, until you smoke it and forget everything!”

Amnesia Haze was released in 2003 at the same time as the G13Haze crosses and was entered in the 2004 Cannabis Cup by where it won overall 1st place. Soma makes no mention of the breeding process that created Amnesia Haze in his book Organic Marijuana Soma Style. In the strain description for Super Silver Haze at mrnice.nl Shantibaba writes: “A winner of multiple awards including 97,98 and 99 HTCC as well as it being called by other names in various different countries such as Amnesia haze, the Bomb etc…. “

Shantibaba clearly thinks that Amnesia Haze and SSH are related, perhaps Soma crossed a SSH mother to the G13Haze male to create Amnesia Haze? Some people speculate that Soma used one of the surviving Haze clones (A5 or C5) and pollinated her with the G13Haze male, this makes sense as Amnesia appeared at the same time as his G13Haze crosses.

The Dutch nutrient company Hy-Pro has also released a version of Amnesia Haze. Little information is available, but it may be Amnesia Haze x G13Haze male.
 
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