written by Alexandra Arnett @calyx.alex
With the start of a new decade, the cannabis industry has suffered some very tragic losses, all of whom deserve recognition. We would like to take a moment to highlight just some of the greats we have lost this year.
Dave Bowman (born Montgomery Ball) aka Subcool of The Dank, formerly of TGA Genetics/Seeds, was the first cannabis pioneer to pass at the beginning of 2020 in February. This loss was felt throughout the entire cannabis breeding and growing industry. Along with his team at TGA, Subcool was the creator of strains such as Jack the Ripper, Space Queen, Green Queen, Jack’s Cleaner, Querkle, Cuvee, Vortex and Strawberry Daiquiri, and had an influence on many more cultivars. Many of his cultivars have won cannabis industry breeding awards over the years. In 2017, Bowman was awarded the Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award for being a dedicated activist in the cannabis industry. Bowman suffered from Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic condition that raises a persons’ risk for lung and liver disease, and emphysema which causes shortness of breath. These last 5 years Bowman had been dealing with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and passed peacefully in his sleep due to complications.
In April, the industry lost one of the youngest cannabis pioneers. Charlotte Figi was a 13-year-old who was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome. Born in 2006, Charlotte had her first seizure at the age of 3 months. After 6 years of trying an array of western approaches to medicine, Charlotte’s mom began looking into CBD. Charlotte’s mom connected with the Stanley Brothers in Colorado who began supplying their CBD oil to treat Charlotte’s seizures. After successfully treating Charlotte’s seizures with this CBD oil, the family packed up and moved to Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis. The success of Charlotte’s treatment with CBD oil sparked a huge movement in the industry. She appeared with Dr. Sanjay Gupta in 2013 for the film Weed to help bring awareness to using cannabis as medicine, especially for children. In 2014, the Stanley Brothers renamed this high CBD cultivar to “Charlotte’s Web”, in honor of Charlotte. This was not the only legacy Charlotte left in the cannabis industry. Charlotte’s mom was also instrumental in helping bring to light the benefits of CBD oil and pushing for legislation. In 2013, she co-founded the Realm of Caring, a non-profit organization based out of Colorado that helps provide cannabis oil to patients and conducts observational studies.
In May, the industry lost two very important people. On May 6th, cannabis breeder Joesy Whales (aka Don Peabody), co-founder of breeding company GG Strains, passed away in Las Vegas after complications from a fall. Along with his business partner “Lone Watty,” who passed last year, Joesy bred strains such as Original Glue (GG4), New Glue (GG5), Sister Glue (GG1), Purple Glue and Glue Chee. These strains, namely GG4, have become a staple in the cannabis industry.
On May 14th, the cannabis industry lost Mikel Weisser, a dedicated cannabis activist. Weisser was the director of Arizona NORML and also helped start the Las Vegas NORML chapter.
Please take a moment to honor those in the industry that we have lost. Never forget what each one of them was fighting for: that cannabis is medicine and it should be legal.