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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
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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.”

Culture

Stuff & Puff Berner’s New Cali Pre-Roll

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Cali
PHOTO | VIBES

Cannabis mogul Berber is about to drop the latest must-have pre-roll paper from his premium rolling paper brand, Vibes. A new alternative to the traditional cone, The Cali is a cylindrical pre-roll tube that’s been designed for optimum airflow for the optimal smoking experience.

In a press release, the Bay Area rapper says that he’s been rolling for over 20 years, and that over that time, he was constantly told by friends that they would smoke joints over blunts if they could roll them. So he and Vibes co-founders Greenlane developed this innovative alternative.

PHOTO: Vibes

“As passionate smokers, and connoisseurs, we are gonna continue to focus on quality papers and products that consumers are missing, such as The Cali,” said Berner in a press release.

“All you have to do is stuff and puff with The Cali.”

The Cali is dedicated to those of us who like a big-smoke experience. We found the papers to burn very evenly and smoothly. They are also easy to extinguish and relight,  and even burn evenly in areas where I packed too tightly or too loose (deliberately, before y’all start commenting). 

Plus, The Cali pre-rolls are massive, so make sure you have plenty of herb on hand for your next session to fully enjoy the experience either with your homies or when you’re chilling alone.

The Cali Collection | PHOTO: Vibes

The Cali is offered in three sizes — one, two, and three gram — across all four signature Vibes paper collections: Ultra Thin, Rice, Hemp, and Organic Hemp

Look for Vibes papers at your local retailer nationwide.

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Culture

Psychonauts Celebrate Magic Mushroom Day

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Magic Mushrooms Day

September 20 is Magic Mushroom Day. Similarly to stoners celebrating 4/20 and 7/10, and LSD enthusiasts celebrating 4/19, entheogenic communities around the world celebrate the psychedelic renaissance on 9/20.

The concept was coined in 2015 when Nicholas Reville, a mushroom advocate from Providence, Rhode Island, declared September 20 as an “educational day of action,” apparently citing the spirit of 4/20 as an opportunity to talk about psilocybin reform, regulations and, of course, rejoice in the magic of psychedelics.

“9/20 was chosen because it is at the beginning of autumn, when mushrooms are most plentiful; because it is close to the equinox, representing a change in direction; and because it echoes 4/20 and the successful movement for marijuana decriminalization and legalization,” said Reville in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Magic Mushrooms: The Next “Green” Wave?

Interest around the benefits and effects of psilocybin, the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been steadily growing over the last number of years, with legalization closely following.

In May 2019, Denver became the first city to decriminalize psilocybin. Oakland soon followed with its own law in June that same year, decriminalizing plant and fungi psychedelics.

At the last election in 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin with Measure 109 for mental health treatment in supervised settings.

At the same time, the District of Columbia decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances with the passage of Initiative 81.

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Culture

Peep the Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection

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Pepsi x Dapper Dan
Photos | Courtesy of Pepsi

Pepsi has partnered with Harlem-based designer and streetwear legend, Dapper Dan, to create The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection.

As part of the Pepsi “Made for Football Watching” NFL campaign, the iconic collaboration brings the football fan apparel game to the next level with this limited-edition capsule collection created for fans to show up in style, no matter where they’re watching.

The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection features fashion-forward football-watching pieces including a lounger, hoodie, bucket hat, and custom-patterned Pepsi can to ensure fans are fitted and geared up for every touchdown, sack and fumble.

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