It has been a while since I ran a CannaBoss column. Truth be told, the level of the company in this category – folks like Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the scientist who discovered THC; or Jack Herer, the man who exposed the political chicanery surrounding the prohibition of our sweet, sweet herbal friend AND brought that information to the masses before becoming the inspiration for one of the headiest weed strains ever bred; or Dennis Peron, the man who jump-started the medical marijuana movement – creates such a high standard that it’s tough to find others deserving of a place among such an elite cadre.
Yes, the standard to become a CannaBoss is high, but there are folks who may be overlooked by the average weed consumer. I am referring to the people who work year after year to discover, create, and bring diversity to us, the happily altered masses. I’m talking about the strain hunters and breeders out there, the ladies and gentlemen who travel the world to discover regional specialty cultivars and bring them back for inclusion into the cornucopia of options available to the modern stoner, breeders, and growers. I will focus in the upcoming issues on this crew of dreamers who have their hands in the dirt with stories profiling them every few weeks.
Today’s installment will focus on an individual who is near and dear to my heart, DJ Short, a man whose Cannabis Cup-winning Blueberry, a cross of Afghani and Thai landraces, was used to create the foundation for scores of today’s favorite smokes, including my beloved Blue Cheese and the ubiquitous Blue Dream. A son of Michigan, DJ Short grew up at the knee of his pot-growing great-grandmother, and has spent most of the past several decades in Oregon. He is also responsible for the magic found in the Flo, Azure Haze, and Vanilluna genetics, and has turned his passion into a family legacy by way of his son, JD Short, who is responsible for the heavily sedative, indica-dominant Whitaker Blues cut.
The pseudonymous Short belongs to the old-school class of cannabis creators, who pooled the landraces available as the planet’s bounty in the 1970s and ’80s, and kickstarted the revolution of hybrids we enjoy in the 21st Century. Short’s early days of breeding were replete with sativas, equatorial giants with lanky, long-maturing growth process that make them among the most difficult to place in indoor grows, which have long been favored by scientific-minded technicians and people trying to keep below the radar of law enforcement.
He took his cues during the development of his lineages from his nose, and from the way the new stock made him feel. By 1981, he had given birth to Blueberry, the product of Thai Highland and Purple sativas on its maternal side, and a patriarchal lineage consisting of an Afghani indica. It created a hybrid that was much easier to grow, while combining the best attributes of its parentage.
The rest, as they say, is history. Short has been a leader in the creation of new strains and a model to breeders, especially as the explosion of cannabis has built steam over the past 30-plus years. Treat yourself this week to a puff influenced by DJ Short, a true CannaBoss.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected].