“Dropping some outdoors will get you a nice 3-4ft sun grown flower before the harvest, or you can take your clone and get an indoor grow tent and really have fun.”
Even for those of us who got busy on the illicit cannabis scene for decades before legalization, the idea of waiting in line for weed is kind of a strange new concept. Back in the day, if you went to see your plug or dealer and there was a queue of cars out front, that was probably a sign that you should leave and come back later.
Now, however, in this brave new world and marketplace, heads are finding themselves showing up at special shops like sneakerheads ahead of hot-product releases. And of the elite goods that tend to attract serious crowds, those born in the magical workshop of iconic cultivator Chemdog are among the most coveted.
While aficionados have been traveling to Canna Provisions in Western Mass from all over the country for Chemdog’s Smash Hits products (as well as his glass pieces) for more than a year, the team there recently added actual clones to the menu (on an occasional basis, for now), which may turn out to be the guru’s most popular offering yet.
We asked Chemdog about the clone program and more ahead of Friday’s drop at their Holyoke store.
Please just tell us a little bit about this clone program, what you’ve put out so far, what you’re putting out this coming weekend, and what your plans are for it moving forward …
It’s been really great to be able to get our Smash Hits genetics out to the public through our pilot program we’ve been running since early June. When that first drop happened at our Lee store in the Berkshires (where our small craft cultivation and outdoor hoop house is located as well), the response was wild. We sold out fast, and then when we did our next pilot drop at our Holyoke shop a few weeks later, the same response (if not more enthusiasm).
I worked hard to really limit the ability for the public to get their hands on genuine authentic Chemdog strains over the years on the legacy market, so when we pulled the trigger at Canna Provisions, it was really about supporting the spirit of legal homegrow in Massachusetts with some really fantastic strains. I had to be ready to let something like my Chem 4 get out to the public, but seeing how our customers are scooping them up and getting into it, I love knowing if they got it from us they got the best available on the market.
This weekend we’re dropping Biscotti Mintz, Waffle Cone, Blue Dream, Apple Fritter, and Chem 4. The first Chem 4 popped and dropped in 2006 but our first drop in June was the fist when any genetics of mine were legally available to the general 21+ public, in Massachusetts or anywhere else. It was a big moment for me.
The plan moving forward is to continue cultivating and sharing the best craft cannabis genetics and flower available. When you are starting with 4-inch clones already rooted in small pots of this quality genetics, it really makes growing cannabis at home a rewarding thing, from novice to…well, me.
Have you always been about sharing your babies and beloved strains? Or were they mostly in your hands and the hands of your most trusted allies for the longest?
Not really! They were always in the hands of me and my most trusted allies and that made them more converted throughout the legacy market over the last 30 years. Back then, keeping those babies close to me and only letting friends through the Grateful Dead scene or the national weed scene get their hands on real deal Chemdog genetics, it was the way to know who had the real stuff out there and could represent it properly as a grower. That’s some of the stuff that had to happen to allow me to get to where I am today, without watering those strains down from over sharing the clones.
What are some tips that you recommend for someone buying one of your clones and looking to make the best of it?
I’ve got some tips over at our website, and we’ll be creating some videos for people to refer to for some basics, but start by transplanting the small rooted clone to a larger pot, at least a 1 gal container. The bigger the pot, the bigger the room to root and grow big and strong and healthy.
Make sure the clone is getting 18 hours of light or sun at first. When your clone reaches a height you like you can begin the flower process to get those buds going and growing, which is anywhere from 2-3 feet high, you will need to be provide 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness (think, the movement of the sun in nature) to begin the budding process.
Feed your clone! Give it some high nitrogen fertilizer while in veg, switch to a macronutrient cocktail for your cannabis (“bloom fertilizer”) which you can typically purchase at any garden store.
If you’re picking up a clone at our drop this weekend, about 12-14 weeks from now (prob end of October or early November), some beautiful flower will be ready for you to harvest. That means curing. Hang the bud upside down in a dry cool place for about 7-10 days. Remember: Where you dry your bud is important, and the properties of it’s curing environment will be a part of your flower.
Finally, cut the buds off of the stem, jar them up with a good sealing top, pop it open every day or two, and you’ll be set with some really terrific Smash Hits flower and Chemdog strains.
I imagine that a lot of people come just to meet you. What’s that like? What do most people ask you in person when given the chance? Mostly grow tips?
When they do, they ask for grow tips, and talk weed talk, and there were people fan-ing out for the clones for sure. Holyoke got crazy, lots of Chem and Smash Hits fans there, with most asking me for grow tips and local questions about if they could grow outside near them, if it’s still not too drop in the ground (it’s not!). Dropping some outdoors will get you a nice 3-4ft sun grown flower before the harvest, or you can take your clone and get an indoor grow tent and really have fun.
Since you started rolling out clones, we’ve seen some others clone the operation. Was that part of your intention? To start a trend? Or was that just a byproduct?
Well we weren’t the first legal dispensary and cultivator who had tried it, but we perhaps started a trend to sell good genetics. Ha. But it came to fruition organically, and it’s been something I had talked about with the team since joining Meg and Erik and Canna Provisions. A few weeks before we launched, we just just kicked the idea around and said let’s give it a go.
Citizen Strain/Grain is an amalgamation of a bunch of us who, in addition to the hard and oftentimes depressing journalism we report for the Dig, also enjoy sampling and writing about the various beers, spirits, and cannabis products that vendors from near and far send our way. If you want us to check out your product, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.