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MzJill: The Expert Cannabis Cultivator Putting Patients First

We caught up with infamous grower MzJill to talk cannabis genetics, growing in Oregon and the burgeoning legal cannabis industry.

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MzJill
PHOTO | MzJill

If anyone can be considered a cannabis superwoman, it’s MzJill. She began growing cannabis twenty years ago as a single mom with three kids. Now, after trudging through the dark ages of cannabis prohibition, she’s pioneered two game-changing cannabis genetics companies and has helped patients across the west coast find long-awaited moments of peace.

We caught up with the infamous grower to talk cannabis genetics, growing in Oregon and the burgeoning newly-legal cannabis industry.

Meet MzJill

Her first major venture was TGA Genetics. Active until 2017, MzJill and TGA earned their fair share of media attention — High Times featured TGA strains on numerous occasions over the past decade. She was also the first female breeder to do so.

Now, at MzJill Genetics, she’s continuing to craft some of the best cannabis cultivars on the market.

Yet, unlike many who enter into the cannabis game, starting a strain revolution wasn’t what MzJill had in mind when she began growing. “I originally started as a means to provide my own medicine for my scoliosis,” she told us. It didn’t take long, however, before her green thumb began to show its color.

Growing Medicine

“I started helping other people. That’s what really got me going,” explains MzJill. “I had some other patients that were in need of meds, that weren’t as able to grow, or understand how to make cannabis cookies, medicated cookies, or edibles.”

In fact, it was through helping a patient, a woman with multiple sclerosis that needed help setting up a garden, that MzJill developed her first two award-winning strains, Agent Orange and Jilly Bean. Agent Orange was created in honor of MzJill’s father, a Vietnam veteran who developed cancer after being exposed to the toxic herbicide.

MzJill received an Orange Velvet clone through her patient, a plant which then became the mother of her two top-performing cultivars. Orange Velvet itself features a smooth and creamy quality, a subtle and familiar flavor that was passed on to both Agent Orange and Jilly Bean. The flavor and crystal-coated appearance of these plants, however, are not the features that set these plants apart.

MzJill has a history of crafting the perfect plant for a patient in need.

“A lot of people are growing for flavor, for terpenes for concentrates,” MzJill said. “While I still really focus on the flavor of the cannabis, I also want to make sure that I have the medicinal qualities that can help other people.”

The Brian Berry line offers the perfect example. The line, masterfully bred by MzJill Moser Seeds, features eight distinct strains. While these plants can feature impressive yields and many feature a gorgeous purple-tipped coloration, the plants themselves were developed with a different intention in mind: to create truly high-quality medical cannabis.

“The line was named after my friend, Brian Damewood, that passed from ALS [a neurodegenerative diesase]. He was actually able to smoke the very first flower that came from the original Brian Berry Cough three days before he passed.”

Although, MzJill was quick to point out that finding the right plant for a patient’s specific needs is no easy feat. “You can have one strain that can be absolutely fantastic medicine for one person,” she begins, “and the next person can get anxiety or depression from it.”

“So, every strain is not going to be suited for every person. You always have to look and find out what is going to work best for your symptoms and needs.”

Cannabis for Patients First

Given the standout personalities of strains like Black Cherry Soda, Jilly Bean, and Brian Berry, MzJill certainly knows how to create exotic concoctions that work. Yet, selling seeds is only one part of what this experienced breeder actually does.

“We put a lot of love and care into it,” says MzJill. “We don’t just want to rush through it. We take the time to make sure that we are getting the very best female and using her in the cross, and that’s really what we have to do.”

“People are just rushing into it,” she continues, “they’re throwing plants together and not taking the time to stabilize the line. You know, you have a patient and they buy a pack of seeds and they get 10 completely different plants, that’s not very helpful for them.”

Considering that MzJill grew her first plant in 1997, she certainly is the person to ask about expert cannabis cultivation. MzJill got her start when the plant was still illegal in the state of Oregon, although medical cannabis was legalized in the state in 1998. Still, it was a time when cannabis-consuming women faced a real threat of having their children taken away if they were caught cultivating the herb. In many states, this threat is still very real.

Given the high risks, you have to really love what you’re doing to continue. With the big boom in the industry after legalization, however, the community around medical cannabis has changed.

“Now, you have a lot of people who are fresh out of college or a lot of people with a large amount of money who want to invest, and they’re not getting into it for the right reasons,” says MzJill. “They are seeing money signs, they don’t care about the patient. They don’t care about the people who were pioneers of the industry, so I feel that it had more heart before.”

Luckily for patients and cannasseurs alike, MzJill isn’t getting out of the game anytime soon. She and her business partner, Moser Seeds, have several new lines in the making. “We are going to continue to expand,” she says.

“We are working now on the Jilly Bean line, which will have a minimum of five different specific flavors. They will all be Jilly Bean line, for example, Urkle crossed with Jilly Bean will be a Grape Jilly Bean. We are also working on feminized lines, there are quite a lot of new ladies in our library that we are working with.”

In the meantime, MzJill’s advice for new growers in the industry? “If you have a garden, if you’re a successful grower, find one person that you help on a regular basis, and stick with them.”

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Network in Paradise at the CanEx Jamaica Business Conference & Expo

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CanEx Jamaica
PHOTO | Konstiantyn

According to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc, the global legal cannabis market is expected to reach USD 66.3 billion by the end of 2025. Helped in part by the increasing acceptance of cannabis to treat numerous medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, arthritis, and neurological disorders, along with the lucrative revenue created by legal cannabis sales, there has never been a more crucial time for entrepreneurs and businesses to network and expand their businesses on a global scale.

As one of the leaders in international business-to-business (B2B) events, the CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo brings together top cannabis industry experts from around the globe including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean.

Taking place September 26-28 at the Montego Bay Convention Center, in beautiful Montego Bay, the fourth annual CanEx Jamaica Business Conference & Expo features addresses, panel discussions and presentations on a variety of topics — from advocacy, cultivation, science and medicine to investment, banking and finance, and the business of cannabis including women entrepreneurship.

Over 70 world-class speakers and panelists will provide insights into the direction of the global cannabis industry to over 3,000 delegates.

Steve DeAngelo, founder of Harboride dispensary and the Last Prisoner Project, is speaking on two panels — “Post Decriminalization of Cannabis: Towards Restorative Justice” and “Strategic Approaches to Cannabis Investments” to how the investment landscape is evolving.

Bruce Linton, founder of Canopy Growth Corp, the first cannabis producing company in North America to be listed on a major stock exchange, will host a fireside chat with CanEx founder, Douglas K. Gordon.

Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, will host “The Global Cannabis Movement” that will explore what globalization means in practical terms for the industry, where things stand presently and the future of the global market.

Cam Battley, Chief Corporate Officer of Aurora Cannabis Inc., will be speaking on the panel “CEO Roundtable: Roadmap to Sustainable Profitability for the Industry” to discuss the global challenges and opportunities facing the cannabis Industry.

Plus, over 200 exhibitors and sponsors, from cultivators to investment firms and media experts will provide attendees opportunities for networking, business expansion and identify new areas of growth within the legal industry.

Held for the first time in 2016, CanEx Jamaica is responsible for connecting cannabis experts, researchers, business professionals, creating new strategic partnerships in a truly memorable and vibrant setting.

For more information, visit canexjamaica.com.

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Culture

After 25 Years, Supreme Closes Iconic Lafayette Store

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PHOTO | Supreme

In a move that has shocked through the streetwear community, Supreme has closed its original space on Lafayette after 25 years of business.

Back in February, the brand announced that its famous Lafayette location would be under renovation. Now, due to the unforeseen closure, the 190 Bowery location in Manhattan will now be the brand’s main location in the Big Apple.

 

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Celebrating 25 years. Pooky, Lafayette Street, New York City 1995 📷 @suekwon_

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Culture

Off the Record, It’s National Expungement Week

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National Expungement Week

“Would you like to know an absolutely crazy fact? There are 77 million people in the United States who have a criminal record.” This crazy statistic that instantly grabs your attention is how Seth Rogen opens the PSA for National Expungement Week.

Rogen also asks, “What does ‘expungement’ mean?” ‘On the record’, expungement means, clearing or sealing the record of a person’s prior arrest, criminal charges or conviction.

That’s a possibility for some of the 77 million people with criminal records — a large amount being minor offenses — which make up nearly a quarter of the population of the United States. Having a criminal record seriously impedes the ability to live for millions of people. It restricts access to jobs, housing, education, and the right to vote.

National Expungement Week aka N.E.W. is the initiative of Cage-Free Repair (the non-profit section of Cage-Free Cannabis) Cannabis and Equity First Alliance.

Cage-Free Cannabis is rooted in three kinds of justice, from reparative, to economic and environmental. Equity First Alliance works to bring reparative justice to, and be a voice for, those who have been most harmed by the War on Drugs.

The initiative will see over 40 events held in 30 cities, which will host workshops, allowing people to meet with lawyers and experts who can help them clear records, from September 21-28.

Among other company’s and businesses, N.E.W. is supported by Houseplant, the cannabis company launched by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, in the hopes of exposing the social injustices associated with cannabis convictions.

With 18 events in 15 cities that helped nearly 300 people begin the process of changing their records, the inaugural National Expungement Week in 2018 was clearly a success and led to the initiative returning this year.

If you’re interested in clearing your record or helping someone else do the same, you can find further information — including the dates and details of specific events — on the official site of N.E.W.; offtherecord.us.

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