GreySkull The Grower
We first befriended GreySkull The Grower on a beach in Maui. This was before we realized he was a well-known grower, breeder and founder of one of the scene’s most-loved weed event. He and his buddy Joeygreen808 handed us some of the best weed we’ve ever smelled. Okay—we’re not gonna lie—it was absolutely the best weed we’ve ever smelled.
Come to find out Joey’s weed was special. Apparently it won 1st place at some weed contest. So a few weeks later we get an Instagram—not only did GreySkull invite us back for more of that fine herb—he asked us to judge the contest aka the All Hawaiian Invitational aka AHI. Talk about a dream-come-true, man.
So we had to know more about GreySkull—where he sewed his weed-growing seeds, how he got to the beautiful tropical island of Maui and how the AHI was founded and more. Apparently GreySkull The Grower began his cultivation career in Nor Cal back in the early 2000s near the Emerald Triangle Area.
SSL: What got you started growing weed, GreySkull?
GreySkull: It just happened. Hahaha. I was living in Newport Beach and one day some friends came by with a flood tray and a light, and said “we are going to use your closet”. I had no idea what was going on. It was B’cuzz and rockwool cubes. A 1000w HPS hanging over some plants in my closet. Simple.
That first grow was the only grow for a couple of years, as fate would have it. I was always around cannabis and growers and plants, but I just hadn’t continued down the path of growing. Until the day I got robbed. It set me back.
Some friends I was training MMA with were sympathetic to my cause, and they invited me up to their operation in NorCal to learn. These guys are Hall Of Fame level badasses… and they smoke a lot of pot. It makes sense!!! Think about it… if these guys don’t mellow themselves out, they’re wired to just destroy – they are going to kill everybody!!!! It was under their guidance I learned how to run a successful cannabis grow operation. I did a couple of turns up there and then headed back home to SoCal.
Los Angeles at that time was the “wild west.” Shops were just starting to pop up. Shops were getting raided. It was a free-for-all crazy time! It just happened to be that my backyard was a pretty active zone in the emerging cannabis market. I was basically going with the flow!
SSL: You are known for introducing Sour Dubble to the weed scene here in California. It’s the mother of the High Times cup winner Gorilla Glue & their strongest strain winner Adubb that clocked in with 27.2% thc. Let’s hear the story about how you got the Sour Dub? Tell us about how it was used to create those legendary plants?
GreySkull: The Sour Dubble…. I got her from the very same guy who set me up with my first grow in the closet! He had been up to NorCal at some festival, and ran into a guy named BOG. BOG handed him 4 seeds and said “this will be the best pot you’ll ever grow”. He said it was Sour Bubble crossed to Sour Diesel. We planted 2… and one of them was unlike anything else I had ever grown – it had this vibe, this draw… At the time OG Kush was the king of the market, but the Sour Dubble was able to find space on the top shelf.
The Adubb was from the first cross made with the Sour Dubble by a group of growers known as “San Diego’s Finest.” Grow Tech reversed an Alien Tec female and sprinkled the pollen on the Sour Dubble. KRD then sprouted and searched thru the progeny, and his Quality Control Team identified the ADubb flowers as having a special quality.
The Gorilla Glue came about from a trip my buddy Zoolander and I took to Barstow to meet up with our friend from ICMag, Grizz aka Joesy Whales – the father of the Gorilla Glue #4. It was in the parking lot I gave him the Sour Dubble, as well as the Chems Sister (which at the time we thought was Chem D hahaha) that he ended up mixing along with a Chocolate Diesel plant he had to create the beans that sprouted the Glue. We were just 3 guys meeting up that grew pot. Crazy what comes out of things when you think about it.
SSL: When and why did you move to Maui? And what’s it like growing on the side of a volcano where you can flower 24/7 outdoors?
GreySkull: I moved to Maui in 2010. As for why… have you ever been here? Hahahaha. Honestly, my Dad and older brother were living here and owned a business, and they needed some help. My wife and I were just starting our family, we were living in a not-so-great part of Anaheim, and decided Maui was where we needed to be. The decision was made 100% with the intention of providing a better life to raise my kids and being with my extended family. It just so happened to have a silver lining of being one of the most magical places to grow cannabis in the world so that didn’t deter anyone, hahaha.
I am currently growing in living soil. It’s a custom recipe conjured up by my partner Joeygreen808, who I met at the first incarnation of the AHI in 2016. He grows the best pot in Hawaii – I am just trying to copy him and do what he says hahaha.
My favorite nutrient line is Canna. I cut my teeth on Canna Coco. I love Canna nutrients. All of it is top notch—Aqua, Coco, Canna Boost rules! And Bio Canna Veg as well as Bio Canna Flores are phenomenal too. They get a bad rep for being expensive, but its really not that bad on the wallet. Its all about going 50% of what the label says and laughing. Grow tip: lose the timer in veg!!! They are building, let them build!!! They will get plenty of time to rest in flower. Bonus tip: overkill is underrated.
I like to do a lot of plant manipulation – topping, supercropping, stalling, bending, pruning. It depends on the individual plant and what its trying to do, and what I am wanting it to do with it. I am not afraid to rough plants up.
One of the best things about growing outdoors where I live in Maui, is that its “perfect.” Actually, its not always in-line perfect, but the realization of my outdoor garden being the natural physical manifestation of what I was trying to simulate indoors on the mainland just makes me smile. And cry! Because I went from being in complete environmental control, to praying for the weather machine to recalibrate itself.
The stuff that seems to grow best for me in my microclimate are lankier hybrids. Plants that have decent nodal spacing allowing for more airflow seem to help limit rot and PM potential. I have an old cut of Super Silver Haze that Shantibaba selected in 1997 that CHARGES. My Valley OG clone thats been in the family since the mid 90’s does awesome here year-round, too.
SSL: How long have you been breeding?
GreySkull: I have been chucking pollen for almost as long as I have been growing. I am just trying to grow better pot to smoke. So the selection process is simple – do I like the way it smokes, or not? Everyone selects what they do for different reasons – some select for look, some for growth characteristics… I select based on how the flowers smoke in the bong. “Smoke in the bong” meaning specifically the flavor, potency, intensity of the high, smokability, and the desire to repeat. I don’t care how it looks or how it grows – if it sucks to smoke, it sucks. If it smokes good, it smokes good and we are going someplace, hahaha.
I am most proud of the HP13 crosses my partner and I put together with the Valley OG and FirePie. The ValleyxHP13 won 1st place, and the FirePiexHP13 got 4th place, as judged by some industry juggernauts the likes of Crockett Family Farms, Coastal Seeds, Dynasty Genetics, PacificNWRoots, Sticky Finger Seeds, Jerome Baker Designs, and Stuff Stoners Like, at the All Hawaii Invitational held in June. Some heavy hitters seemed to like what we put together. That’s a good feeling.
Its really exciting to be able to work with a legendary plant like the HP13. I have to give thanks to my friends on Big Island from PaperTrees that made it possible. She is such an elusive plant, and to be charged with keeping her is not just a responsibility – its an honor. So far it seems that whatever I mix the P with, the progeny are living up to potential, and beyond.
SSL: Tell us about your seed company?
GreySkull: Greyskull Seeds has been “a thing” since I made my first set of seeds for the ICMag Server Fund in 2009. I was growing out my friend Subrob’s Mountain Madness beans with the intent of taking them to F2, when I realized that there was only 1 female and the other 7 or 8 were males. I decided let things stay the course and open-pollinated the Mountain Madness female (and the Rasberry Kush I had going too) with all the males in the room. Those seeds were a way for me to contribute something to the people that were operating ICMag. That was the beginning. Our line of cannabis seeds are available exclusively thru XSeedCo.
SSL: Reciprocity laws go into effect starting January 1 in Hawaii—what does that mean for traveling stoners? Traveling marijuana patients? How can tourists buy weed there? The mainland is oblivious the the situation in Hawaii—the monopoly being created there. For instance CA relied on co-ops (many farmers and dispensaries) to fill the supply chain—how would you like to see Hawaii organize going forward? Is there something that we here on the mainland or at stuff stoners like can do to help better the situation for growers on Maui or on the islands in general? How about for traveling stoners?
GreySkull: Jan. 1, 2018 mainland medical marijuana will be recognized here in Hawaii. Which means if you are a medical card holder on the mainland, when you come to Hawaii, you can legally purchase cannabis from one of the 8 licensed dispensaries. All of the stuff produced by the dispensaries is subjected to strict quality controls.
SSL: I think it’d be great if there was a Farmer’s Market approach to cannabis’ availability in Hawaii. It’s a more “recreational” model that requires recreational acceptance legally to be viable. However with the “medical” approach the state has embraced, it naturally calls for extremely strict guidelines and controls. If Hawaii were to adopt more recreationally-friendly laws regarding cannabis, I believe it would open an economic market to the people here that would rival sugar production in its heyday.
SSL: Tell us about the origins of the AHI?
GreySkull: The AHI is rooted partly in the Adam Dunn Show Invitational, and party in the ICMag 420Cup, and modeled after the Bilderberg Group, hahaha. I wanted to get the best growers in Hawaii together to celebrate them, and what they do. And I asked some of my industry expert friends from the mainland to come hang out and help us smoke. I thought it’d be a good thing to put successful, like-minded people together in a neutral environment to talk and learn from each other, and build friendships.
The first one in 2016 was fun and successful. We commissioned a Championship Belt and had a great time. We had 21 contestants from Big Island, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, and had a total attendance of 40 people at a beach house in North Shore Oahu. 2016 was a preview of what was possible, and I used it as a base guideline as I planned the “Invitational” event.
SSL: What about this year’s AHI?
GreySkull: For 2017, we commissioned our friend, world-renowned glass artist Charles Lowrie, to create the AHI sculpture. We had 24 entrants from Big Island, Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai, and had a total attendance of over 75 people under one big party tent in Upcountry Maui. We utilized a completely different coordination effort and that resulted in an almost double the amount of invitees that attended. I have heard some highly respected industry folks say very flattering things about the 2017 experience. And I am most proud to say we did so without any sponsorship!!!
The number one thing I learned from the 2017 AHI is that good pot is good pot is good pot! While the winner was grown in living soil, 2nd place was hydroponic! If its good, its good, period.
My favorite moment was when I was in the VW bus about to turn left to meet the guest judges at the rendezvous site. I looked out the driver’s window and saw a sea of people in the parking lot. They came to Maui from all over the mainland for one purpose – to smoke and reflect on the best pot in Hawaii, at the AHI. When I saw all those people, and I honked the bus horn – seeing those people roar and their hands flying into the air… that feeling, that moment, that pinnacle of anticipation… thats a pretty special moment that will always be with me.
There’s also a picture of a group of 12 in front of that “SO IRIE” bus, including Jerome Baker, Bam from Coastal Seeds, Charles Lowrie, Crockett, Kaya and JonnyB from NoGoo, and my partner Joeygreen808. That makes me smile every single time I see it. It’s a historic moment in cannabis history. I am so proud of being a part of that picture!
We are planning the 2018 event to be twice as awesome. And – we are introducing the World Invitational in 2018!!! We have already begun inviting some of our most successful grower friends from North America, South America, and Europe to join us in celebration of our art and passion. The following year (2019) will return to the All Hawaii Invitational, and every fourth year will become the World Invitational. All Aloha.