taken from hightimes magazine..original writing by jorge cervantes. This year's list has grown to 29. The listings are made in alphabetical order and do not reflect any other ranking. AMSTERDAM SEED CO.. -- Canada: If you were at the Cannabis Cup 2001 you might have met Karen, the blonde bombshell owner, and her stable of Sativa Sisters, but don't let her good looks fool you. She personally checks out all of the seeds and keeps an iron grip on quality control. She carries seeds from 14 different tried-and-true seed companies. She procures original seed direct from Dutch, Canadian and Swiss breeders. The Amsterdam stands behind their wares and provides prompt service. Contact them at 4253-349 W. Georgia St., Vancouver, BC V6B 3Z7, Canada (catalog $5); phone, (604) 728-5617; Website, theamsterdam.com. To stay at their bed & breakfast, call (604) 783-9567 for reservations. AFRICAN SEEDS -- Africa: A good site and company for sativa varieties. Some of the standouts include the world-famous Durban Poison and Swazi Skunk. Several of the retail seed sellers carry their wares, or order direct from African Seeds, PO Box 3364, Witkoppen 2068, Johannesburg, South Africa. Hit their site at africanseeds.com for a good look and descriptions of their wares. Seeds are a bargain at $40-$60 for 20. DJ SHORT-- Canada: DJ Short spent years perfecting Blueberry, one of the standard varieties many breeders use. Potent, heavy-yielding and fast-maturing Blueberry is my favorite. Others may prefer Flo and Blue Moonshine. DJ is a contentious breeder with impeccable integrity. You can't go wrong with any of his wares. Site: theamsterdam.com. 10 seeds range in price from $60-90, a true bargain! DUTCH PASSION -- Holland: This company has withstood the test of time. Henk, the owner, was the first to develop "feminized" seed that produces virtually 100% female plants. Henk notes his personal smoking favorites as Euphoria and Blueberry, even though Passion #1 (outdoor) and Skunk #1 (indoor) are his bestsellers. Check their site, dutch-passion.nl, and find more of their European varieties available than in North America. Next time you are in Amsterdam, check out their one-stop retail shop, Seeds of Passion (seedsofpassion.nl), Utrechtsetraat 26, 1017 VN Amsterdam, where they sell seeds from Dutch, Canadian, Swiss and South African breeders. Dutch Passion, B.V., Postbus 1579, 1000 BN Amsterdam, Holland. 10 seeds will cost from $40-$200 FEDERATION SEED COMPANY OF CANADA -- Canada: Produces consistent, good-quality seeds, including one of my late-night favorites, Romulan, a very strong buzz. Romulan may have found its calling as breeding stock for several varieties that are in the works now. A true-value company; a dozen seeds cost from $25-$40. Note: Federation seeds tend to have a tough outer coating, requiring scarification to speed germination. To scarify, lightly rub seeds with fine sandpaper, or nick them with a knife to allow moisture to penetrate the inner seed. Find Federation seeds at theamsterdam.com. FLYING DUTCHMEN -- Holland: Eddie, the owner, is an old hand at the cannabis trade. Well-organized and charming, he puts years of pragmatic, practical knowledge into his fine seed strains. The beautiful red-brick building is easy to spot; it's just across the street from the Cannabis College, O.Z. Achterburgwal 124, in the heart of the red-light district in Amsterdam. A savvy, honest head, Eddie runs a tight ship and stands behind his seeds. Although relatively new to the retail seed business, he has been breeding for more than 15 years. Site: flyingdutchmen.com or theamsterdam.com. GANJALAND -- Canada: After a bumpy past, this company has sorted out supply/shipping problems. I have not seen complaints about it for many months. Check out their site for seed, growing and political information. Site: ganjaland.com. GREENHOUSE -- Holland: In years past, Greenhouse seeds/buds swept virtually all categories of the Cannabis Cup. Most of their varieties were based on White Widow genetics, one of the stalwarts of the cannabis-seed industry. This premium seed company (10 seeds $110-$250) is run by frontman Arjan and several others who prefer to stay in the background. No new outstanding varieties are available, and the company rests on their laurels. Check out their bud at one of three coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Site: greenhouse.org, or find their seeds at the Flying Dutchman in Amsterdam, Amsterdam Seed Co., Kind Seed Co., and several others. HEAVEN'S STAIRWAY -- Canada: This reputable company carries a complete line of seeds from 14 different breeders. Their Website, hempqc.com, is well organized and packed with text and photos of varieties. They have a good delivery system and privacy. Heavens Stairway, PO Box 91, Cartierville Station, St. Laurent, Quebec, H4R 2V7, Canada. HEMP DEPOT -- Canada: Carries seed from more than 15 Canadian and Dutch breeders. Everything I have heard about this company is good. They have special offers regularly and sell hemp-related products too. Hit their site and see for yourself: hempdepot.ca; or write HD, 1430 Prince of Wales Drive # 38070, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1N0, Canada HOMEGROWN FANTASEEDS-- Holland: Winner of the Cannabis Cup 2001 Best Sativa with Blue Haze, a Haze/Blueberry cross. It's just one more Cup of many won by this sprouting seed company. They have a full line of seeds at reasonable prices. Check out their retail locale, Fantaseeds Garden, Mieuwe Nieuwstraat 25, 1012 NG Amsterdam for personal service, or contact them by mail at PO Box 3204, 1001 AA Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Hit their site, homegrown-fantaseeds.com, for a complete rundown on their varieties. Give them a call when in Amsterdam to sample their exquisite wares. Dial 011-31-20-627-4677 from the US, or when in A'dam, (020) 627-4677. IRON SEEDS SALES -- Canada: Ron has an impeccable reputation for honesty and making sure you get the seeds you want. He stands behind his seeds, selling everything from bargain-basement stock to top-of-the-line genetics. His joint agreement with Quebec Seed Bank keeps him well stocked and stable. Go visit him personally at his retail locale, 327 Lakeshore Blvd. West, Toronto, ON, M8W 1N1, Canada for personal service and well-informed opinions on his wares. He is almost always running a seed special. They definitely get a high rating. Site: ironseedsales.com/; phone, (416) 256-3429. K.C. BRAINS -- Holland: K.C. is so dedicated to cannabis breeding that he left beautiful Brazil to brave the harsh weather of Holland. He was sharp to bring fantastic genetics from equatorial Brazil as a base for his breeding program. One such example, lemony-tasting Leda Uno, mixed with these genetics, took number two honors in the most recent Cannabis Cup Best Sativa category. Contact the company at K.C. Brains, PO Box 637, 4200 AP Gorinchem, The Netherlands; phone, 011-31-65-473-0608; fax, 011-31-18-363-6510. K.C. only sells seeds via fax or telephone. Check out their complete catalog at kcbrains.com. His seeds, the most economical from Europe ($30-$50 for 10), are also available at many retail locations. KIND SEED CO. -- Canadian: This relatively new seed retailer has a great selection of quality Canadian and Dutch seeds. Dr. Atomic seed is their domestic value seed line. They guarantee all of their wares and note that all seeds have a 90% germination rate. Mail-order clients can call them at (604) 408-1198 or send orders to Kind Seed, Box 233-2906, West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V6K 2G8, Canada. If leery about dropping cash in the mail, visit their retail locale at #5-311 Hastings Street West in downtown Vancouver, next door to smoke-friendly Blunt Bros., "A Respectable Joint." For a complete listing of their seeds, check kindseed.com. LEGENDS -- Canada: This quality seed company is packed with value and premium seed deals. A regular at the Cannabis Cup, the owner, Red, is sitting at their booth heavily engaged in the highest of conversations. He always has a good supply of mature, viable Spice of Life seeds, because his favorite toke just happens to be Sweet Tooth. Hit their well-designed site, legendsseeds.com for the complete story, or contact them at Green Karma, Inc., PO Box 3114, 349 W. Georgia St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X6, Canada. MR. NICE -- United Kingdom: The notorious Howard Marks, who once controlled 10% of the world's hash trade, has teamed up with the legendary Shantibaba to produce some of the highest-quality varieties of marijuana in the world. If names like Super Silver Haze, Medicine Man, Critical Mass, Dreamtime, Black Widow, Shark, Shock, La Nina, Early Queen, Shit, Devil, Spice and Walkabout sound familiar to you, then this is your hit, seedsdirect.to. The premium seeds are also available at many other retail outlets. NIRVANA -- Holland: This discount company sells seeds that range in price from $20-$60. This is the Dutch version of Willy Jack seeds. They produce discount seeds using other breeders' varieties. Hit their site, nirvana-shop.com, for more information, or write to Nirvana, Postbus 2108, 1500 GC Zaandam, the Netherlands. Or if you want to see their Amsterdam outlet, stop by Toldwarstraat 24; phone, 011-31-20-364-0233; fax, 011-31-20-671-3745. OWL PRODUCTION -- Switzerland: Felix lives to breed cannabis. I'm sure he dreams about plant sex. Somewhat slowed by political moves to stifle cannabis breeders, he no longer contracts with local farmers to grow fields of breeding stock. He has countered by entering joint ventures with other breeders, so he still has thousands of plants from which to choose his stock. He continues to perfect his favorite outdoor variety, Purpurea Ticinesis, which clocked in at well over 20% THC. Felix is one of the premier medical-marijuana breeders in the world. His seeds are available from a growing number of retailers. Check ironseedsales.com for more information. Purpurea Ticinesis grows very well up to 5,000 feet and is very, very cold and mold-resistant. PARADISE SEEDS -- Holland: Luc smiles and laughs a lot and for good reason: He grows great seeds that produce outstanding dope. With Cannabis Cup 2000 prize-winning Sensi Star and his new Haze-based varieties that are crossed with early-flowering indicas, powerful Paradise seeds are a bargain at $95-$110 for 10. Check out his site at: paradise-seeds.com, or contact him at Paradise Seeds PO box 377, 1000 AJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands; phone/fax, 011-31-20-679-5422 QUEBEC SEED BANK -- Canada: Alain, the owner, is the energetic force behind the Quebec Cannabis Cup in Montreal. He was arrested for supplying 11 grams each to 500 attendees (12 pounds) at last year's celebration. Check his site, quebecseedbank.com, for information on the Quebec cup and the outcome of his trial. He carries some 300 different varieties of seeds from all over the world. A joint agreement with Iron Seed Sales keeps their stock complete. Some of his favorite stones include Sweet Tooth (Spice of Life), Sensi Star (Paradise), Silver Haze (Sensi) and Blue Haze (Homegrown Fantaseeds). Next time you are in Montreal, stop in to see him at 5751 Monk, Montreal, PQ H4E 3H2, Canada; phone, (514) 761-5140. SAGARMATHA SEEDS AND PSYCHEDELIC GALLERY -- Holland: Yumbolt, which won first place in the 2001 Cannabis Cup Indica Seed category, will leave you with a mellow smile and no cares in the world. It was stabilized from Northern California genetics that originated in the Himalayan mountains. Tony, the owner, keeps his hands in the soil, doing germination tests and growing out all his varieties personally. Other notable varieties include Matanuska Tundra, derived from the famed Alaskan Matanuska Thunderfuck, and the Swedish star Stupersonic, which matures in 45 days indoors. I also like Sagarmatha's Stonehedge. Their Website, highestseeds.com, is packed with excellent information! SENSI SEEDS -- Holland: This purveyor of premium seeds is one of the original tried and true seed companies. Sensi Seed varieties won many, many Cannabis Cups for favorite varieties such as Northern Lights #5, Hash Plant, and Jack Herer, to name a few. Forced to close their "official" seed-breeding facility, Sensi was obliged to increase prices some 20%. Ben Dronkers, the mover and shaker owner, is well known by everybody in the hemp/marijuana industries. He and his son Alan always attend the Cannabis Cup, where you can personally ask them questions about their varieties. If you can't make it to the Cup, stop by their retail store at Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, Amsterdam, next to the Hash Marijuana Hemp Museum, or hit their site at sensiseeds.com. Seeds range from $40 to $220. SEEDS DIRECT -- United Kingdom: Seeds are legal in the UK, and seed shops are sprouting like weeds there. I will know more about all of them and have a complete report next year. Meantime, check out Seeds Direct, a company that I have heard wonderful things about. Website, seedsdirect.to; mail, Gypsy Nirvana, 55 Surbiton Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, KT1 2HT England, UK SERIOUS SEEDS -- Holland: The energetic buzz from Kali Mist, a pure sativa, stayed on top of the heap at the 2000 Cannabis Cup and for good reason! The good news is that the owner, Simon, has improved Kali Mist even more! He also improved one of my favorite high-yielding varieties, Chronic, changing the father, making the offspring stronger and increasing yield. White Russian, another favorite, recently won a double-blind test in the UK, tipping the THC level at 22%. Seeds range in price from $120-140 for a pack of 10. Their site: seriousseeds.com, is packed with excellent information on growing their strains. SOMA SEEDS-- Holland: This company was inadvertently left out of last year's seed roundup. Expatriate breeder Soma, is responsible for popular varieties like Soma Skunk, Reclining Buddha and NYC Diesel that are unique to Dutch breeding. His varieties are grown organically, which is a major plus for medical-cannabis users. He also has a line of 100%-female seeds. Soma's site, somaseeds.nl, is great, with many bud photos to depict the result of the seed. It is packed with excellent variety descriptions, including average yield, time to maturity, stone and growth characteristics of plants. SPICE OF LIFE -- Canada: Breeder Steve has continued to perfect varieties such as Sweet Tooth and Shiskaberry (second place in the 2001Cannabis Cup, entered by Amsterdam Seed Co.). A team player, Breeder Steve has been working with other breeders to develop Tropicana, Joint Project and several yet-unnamed varieties that will knock your socks off. I was fortunate enough to tour his indoor and outdoor breeding facilities, where he is able to select the cream of the crop from thousands and thousands of plants. Spice of Life offers some of the best seeds on the market at an excellent price. A dozen seeds are a great value at $60. Many retail companies stock their seeds, including the Amsterdam Seed Co., Hemp Quebec and Iron Seeds. Hit their site for lots more information: spiceoflifeseeds.com. WEST COAST -- Canada: Focuses on outdoor varieties based on their tough little Mighty Mite genetics. They offer a full range of outdoor seeds at a fair price. Availability is seasonal, because they are outdoor seeds. I have listened to many, many reports from happy growers who planted West Coast seeds. The economical varieties come in packs of 10 and range in price from $40-60. Find their seeds at theamsterdam.com. WILLY JACK -- Canada: Offers a good value on bargain-basement seeds--similar to the originals they are copied from, but often not as stable. The best part about these knockoff varieties is their affordable price. A growing number of retailers carry their seeds. Look for their entire list at the Amsterdam Seed Co. (Canada), theamsterdam.com; or call (604) 728-5617. WORLDWIDE SEEDS -- Carries seeds from four Dutch companies and their own brand too. Their site, worldwideseeds.com, is well designed, but lacks photos of varieties. They also carry salvia divinorum.