Without him, we wouldn’t have the sprawling collection of seedbanks we now take for granted. He was the pioneer of the cannabis industry before there was even an actual market and without his greatest achievements, the global #Cannabis industry would not be the success it is today.
Sadly, "The True King of Cannabis", passed away (7 months ago), aged 62, on the 30th March in Osborne Park, Western Australia. However, it wasn’t Australia where he would make a name for himself, but Holland, some nine thousand miles away. So, if you don’t know who is "The True King of Cannabis", then it is important you know his legacy.
The True King of Cannabis & The Seed Bank of Holland
"The True King of Cannabis" was the Australian-born cannabis breeder "Nevil Martin Schoenmakers", born in 1957 in Perth, Western Australia to Dutch parents, and known for founding the first cannabis seedbank, which was called "The Seed Bank of Holland", in the early 1980s in the Netherlands.
The tale of his legacy begins in in 1976 after he moved to the Netherlands to pursue his passion for growing cannabis. There he started growing cannabis for personal use, and he soon discovered that Holland’s climate, while pleasant, was not well suited to the cannabis #Strains available at the time.
Refusing to accept a less-than-perfect product, he did something that had never been done before. He set up his own "Seed Bank" to develop strains that had the genetics needed to grow in diverse environments. His goal with "The Seed Bank of Holland" was creating a place where any cannabis cultivator could source the highest-quality seeds.
Since then, it is speculated that "The Seed Bank of Holland" provided hundreds of thousands of seeds to breeders all over the world before it was later sold to "Sensi Seeds". In fact, Nevil’s most iconic strains are still available today. These include the award-winning strain Super Silver Haze alongside G13 x Hash Plant, G13 Skunk and several others.
The Father Of Haze
He established the first cannabis #Seed bank in the world in the Netherlands (1984) to can operate legally, and began collecting indica, sativa, and ruderalis varieties from all over the globe.
It was around this time that he met "Dave Watson", a cannabis collector and breeder from California better known as "Sam the Skunkman"! So he was able to purchase from Watson the premier Californian varieties, and collected famous West Coast strains from Washington, Oregon, and California, including Skunk #1, Early Girl, and Northern Lights.
He also began to experiment with hybrids in the hopes of creating unique strains that could be more adaptable to different climates. Neville’s Haze, Northern Lights Haze, Super Silver Haze, and Nevil’s Skunk are just a few hybrids that he’s known for. By 1986 "The Father Of Haze" sold seeds to 15,000 growers in the US worth $500,000.
DEA Operation Green Merchant
In 1990 he became a target of the "DEA Operation Green Merchant" and an indictment had been lodged in New Orleans, charging him with the sale of #Marijuana seeds to undercover agents and indoor growers in the New Orleans area.
On 24 July 1990, hewas arrested by the "Australian Authorities" at the request of the U.S. government while visiting family in Perth. He was incarcerated in Fremantle jail for almost a year without bail while awaiting his extradition hearing.
On 21 June 1991, just weeks before the date of his Federal Court hearing, he was finally granted bail and disappeared from Australia. For some time after his return to the Netherlands, he was on the FBI's most wanted list, but because his activities were legal under Dutch law his extradition was refused and the charges were ultimately dropped.
The Greenhouse & Strain Hunters
In 1991 he sold the "Seed Bank" to "Sensi Seeds" where he worked for a short time as their head breeder and then co-founded "Greenhouse Seeds" with "Franco Loja" & "Arjan Roskam", which he helped operate until 1998, when he sold his shares and left behind the public world of cannabis!
But he never stopped being an advocate for cannabis, and in 2015 was confirmed as the head breeder for cannabis production company "AusCann". He would later go on to pursue other roles affiliated with cannabis, and never stopped campaigning for #Legalization. He represents an era of firsts, and despite the fame he amassed, always stayed humble. He is a breeder whose capability may never be matched, and it is with great sadness that the cannabis community mourns his passing.
Rest In Peace !