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Breeding the Culture: Adam Dunn, T.H.Seeds and the Second Wave of Cannabis in Amsterdam

Breeding the Culture: Adam Dunn, T.H.Seeds and the Second Wave of Cannabis in Amsterdam

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Adam Dunn is an American cannabis breeder who co-founded the T.H. Seeds. In the early 1990s, Adam was at the center of the “second wave” of cannabis breeders and seed companies that emerged at this time in Holland. 

In 1989 as a 19-year-old, Adam traveled to Amsterdam, where he had the good fortune of finding affordable lodging that allowed him to make the country his home for the next 20 years. 

Adam Dunn & Sensi Seeds 

In 1990 Adam began working at the Hash Marijuana and Hemp museum, which was run by the Dronkers who owned Sensi Seeds

It was during his time working at Sensi Seeds that Adam first met and worked with both Tony of Cerebral and later Sagarmatha as well as Simon of Cerebral and later Serious Seeds

It was also at this time period that Sensi Seeds bought the Cannabis Castle and the Seed Bank as part of an arrangement to smuggle Nevil out of Australia back to Amsterdam. 

After taking possession of the Seed Banks germplasm, it quickly fell into disarray in the hands of Marcel, the head breeder and cultivator at Sensi Seeds at the time. 

As a result, Nevil was hired by the Dronkers as a consultant to organize genetic stock and improve the breeding program. 

Working at Sensi Seeds in the early 1990s gave Adam a front-row seat to witness what happened to the Seed Bank after it was incorporated into Sensi Seeds. It also provided insight into what happens when disorganization and poor breeding practices result in genetic drift and degeneration.  

Adam Dunn & Cerebral Seeds 

By 1993 Adam’s co-workers at Sensi Seeds Simon (Serious Seeds) and Tony (Sagarmatha Seeds) established their own seed company, Cerebral Seeds.

The initial Cerebral Seeds offerings were the first commercial releases of what would later become Serious Seeds varieties such as AK-47 and Chronic.

Adam Dunn & Cannabis In Amsterdam (C.I.A.) 

Adam opens Hemp Works, Europe’s first hemp-product retail outlet.

In 1993 Adam Dunn founded Cannabis In Amsterdam (C.I.A.). The C.I.A. storefront sold seeds (Cerebral, Sensi, etc.), books, hemp clothing, paraphernalia, etc. For a time, prior to the emergence of Canadian and U.K. seed distributors, C.I.A. was the largest seed distributor in the world. 

Adam opens Hemp Works, Europe’s first hemp-product retail outlet.

Perhaps more importantly, C.I.A. served as a meeting place and space-particularly for Americans to come together and interact. As Robert Clarke said, in the mid-90s, C.I.A. was “the epicenter of the cannabis universe.”  

Richard Lee, the medicinal cannabis activist, was inspired by his experience at C.I.A. when he traveled to Amsterdam and later modeled the Bluesky Cafe and Oaksterdam off of the C.I.A. 

Adam Dunn & The Grey Area 

While working at Sensi Seeds in the early 1990s, Adam met a fellow Rhode Islander named Victor. Victor and Adam became quick friends and roommates. In addition to being the source for the original seeds that produced the Bubblegum, Victor also opened the Grey Area coffee shop.  

From its inception, the Grey Area established a reputation for having a good menu and being popular with Americans. 

Many of the early Cannabis Cups won by Cerebral Seeds for varieties like AK-47, Kali Mist, and Bubblegum were entered in tandem with the Grey Area. 

Cannabis Cup

 

In 1993 High Times approached Adam to organize the 6th annual Cannabis Cup, only after they had been turned down by Chris Conrad, who at the time was updating the Hemp and Hashish Museum. 

Prior to this, the Cannabis Cup was a private event held by High Times and a select group of judges and seed companies. In 1993 the Cannabis Cup was opened up to the public. 

Adam Dunn and his friends organized the event with the coffee shops and seed companies. They printed programs and maps for attendees. They also developed the formula of distinct categories for coffee shops-judged by the public-and seed companies-judged by celebrity judges because the seed companies were unable to sell to the public. 

Nearly 200 people attended the event, and it established the formula for Cannabis Cups that followed. 

Adam Dunn & T.H.Seeds 

In 1993 Adam Dunn, along with his friend Doug founded T.H.Seeds. From the start, T.H.Seeds operated according to a very simple formula: given the fact that American cannabis culture was at the time the epicenter of the international cannabis world (and American tourists were the primary customer base) in order to be successful, T.H.Seeds has always looked at what was popular in the U.S. 

Bubblegum

Bubble Gum 

Adam Dunn has relayed the history of the Bubble gum in multiple interviews and podcasts (here and here).

The Bubblegum came to Amsterdam in seed form with Adam’s friend Victor who collected the seeds while living in Rhode Island. The seeds were originally found in buds that Victor got from a source in Illinois. Victor called this variety ‘chewing gum’.

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Adam popped the Bubblegum seeds and narrowed the population down to seven females and one male. The Bubblegum quickly developed notoriety and was highly sought after being introduced in Amsterdam. After refusing to sell clones of the Bubblegum, Adam’s grow was broken into, and his clones were stolen, and his mother plants were chopped down and stolen— luckily, a mother was salvaged from a single remaining branch.

After the break-in, Adam shared copies with Tony and Simon. These clones were used to create the various Bubblegum varieties sold by T.H.Seeds, Serious Seeds, and Sagarmatha Seeds. 

(Source: Mojave Richmond)

S.A.G.E.

(Source: Mojave Richmond)

In the early 1990s, Adam’s lifelong friend Mojave Richmond moved to Amsterdam. Mojave journeyed to Europe with pursuits besides cannabis in mind. 

After arriving In Amsterdam, however, he decided to begin cultivating. Mojave brought seeds from his family in Big Sur and used these seeds to begin breeding. 

Mojave selected a particular phenotype from these seeds from Big Sur with a pronounced sage aroma. This selected phenotype was a throwback to old equatorial hybrids and Haze-type plants popular on the central coast of Cali in the 1970s. After two years of breeding and selection, the parent plants to produce the seed line S.A.G.E. (Sativa Afghanica Genetic Equilibrium) were selected. 

Afghan Male 

Adam used an Afghan Male in many of the early T.H.Seeds offerings, including the Bubble Gum and others. The Afghan male was also from seed stock that came from outside of the existing Dutch gene pool.

Adam sourced the Afghan from a friend who would pass through Amsterdam on their travels along the hippy trail. This friend would travel the world seeking out the best cannabis or charras he could find on his travels. In the process, he would take notes and photographs to document the characteristics of the varieties he collected. 

The Afghan was a short, stout plant that grew slowly in the vegetative stage. The male transferred its stout structure, and Adam found that it also imparted lasting depth and duration flavor on its offspring. 

Sour Diesel and OG Kush 

In 1999 Adam traveled to the U.S. and brought cuts of the Sour Diesel and OG Kush back with him to Amsterdam. T.H.Seeds was one of the first seed European seed companies to create O.G. and Sour hybrids with the Mk Ultra and Sage-n-Sour. 

Colorado Calls 

In 2010 Adam returned to the states moving back to Colorado. Since moving back to the states, Adam has started the long-running podcast The Adam Dunn Show and organized the Adam Dunn Invitational. Adam continues to operate T.H. Seeds in the U.S. (T.H. Seeds Europe is a separate entity). Adam has also brought his hemp apparel company Hoodlamb to the states, opening the Hoodlab gallery in Denver. 

Conclusion 

In the early-1990s, Adam Dunn was a central figure in what has been called the second wave of cannabis breeders and seed companies that emerged in Amsterdam at the time. Adam Dunn and those around him helped establish an enclave in Am

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