This week I had the pleasure of being able to interview Mahmoud Hanachi, the person behind the variety collection of one of the most innovative and well-known seed banks in the world, Dutch Passion. Mahmoud’s journey for this bank begins in 2012 and based on the good results it seems that this is only the beginning.
From here I want to thank both myself and the entire Natural Experience team for taking the time to answer our questions. Without more a small preamble for those who do not know him and we go on to the interview.
Who is Mahmoud Hanachi?
Mahmoud Hanachi is the responsible for genetics and new territories Dutch Passion, despite being relatively new to the team, his career has been remarkable. He has been in different positions within this company and his beginning was in the sales department, which he has not completely abandoned, although now the development of new varieties occupies a large part of his time.
The interview with Mahmoud
In these questions Mahmoud tells us how he got to where he is at the moment, what his expectations are and what Dutch Passion’s vision is for the future.
Dutch Passion is one of the world’s leading cannabis companies, studying the cannabis plant and developing varieties since 1987. As Dutch Passion’s head of genetics, in the new golden age of cannabis there is a bright future for everyone involved, What led you to join the company?
I started as a consumer of the plantlike most of us. At a later stage I was introduced to the aspect of growing plants because I had some friends in Amsterdam who were already doing it. I “caught” the passion and began to cultivate myself.
In 2009 I met my current wife, who happens to be the daughter of the owner and founder of Dutch Passion, Henk van Dalen. At that time I was doing a sales job in a logistics company. Since Henk was professionalizing his company in those years and he knew that I was in sales and had a passion for cannabis, he asked me if I wanted to do the same sales “trick”, but for Dutch Passion.
In 2012 I gladly accepted his offer, as this created the possibility of combining my work and my passion into one. The rest is history 🙂
You are responsible for the cultivation and development of new genetics at Dutch Passion, but you started in sales, what moved you to this new field?
Indeed, I started in sales, however during my first years at Dutch Passion my knowledge about cannabis did not stop growing. I learned a lot from our producers and also I did some courses on “Production and cultivation of seeds”. As the Netherlands is known for its agricultural knowledge and skills, it was not difficult to find this type of training.
Although the knowledge was based on “normal crops” such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and flowers, the knowledge still applied to our beloved cannabis plant.
As I was growing within the company, as well as the company itself was also growing, it made sense to make someone responsible for our collection, so this task was assigned to me.
As I still enjoy doing sales too, I was also assigned responsibility for our “New Territories.” The combination of these two tasks allows me to travel around the world to new countries and meet local people, represent the brand and get new genetics around the world from like-minded people.
Dutch Passion is making a great effort to lead the discoveries on new cannabinoids and this is reflected in the latest collections, when was the moment when you started developing this new approach?
We embrace CBD at a very early stage. This was before CBD became really popular. Because we are known for being innovative, we try to explore new opportunities as soon as they appear. We did the same with autoflowering varieties, for example.
A few years later, CBD began to take off and became a popular and widespread cannabinoid with many therapeutic benefits. But this was still the tip of the iceberg, as cannabis has over 100 different cannnabinoids, all of which have their own specific medical properties. This led us to the search for new minor cannabinoids.
Whenever we find new minor cannabinoids in small percentages, we try to raise this relevant minor cannabinoid to at least 4-5%. So we consider this strain to be “rich” in this cannabinoid. The latest examples of our work with minor cannabinoids are, for example, CBG-Force (high CBG), THC-Victory (high THCV) and Auto CBD-Victory (high CBDV).
Now that you are creating these really interesting new strains with new cannabinoids, like THCV, CBDV and CBG, do you have any plans to launch any more novelties with other cannabinoids in the future?
Yes, we are always on the lookout for new minor cannabinoids. We are already working on some new varieties that will be rich in them. Hope the next intro is a CBC-rich strain. But we hope to be able to work with many other cannabinoids in the future. Hopefully this plant can treat many more ailments in the future.
We still have a lot to discover!
Regulation and legislation may differ from place to place, this is probably one of the most difficult parts of being in the field of cannabis, how do you see the legal framework in Europe?
This is one of the most challenging parts of our industry, but this also makes it interesting. In our industry you have to be flexible and able to change quickly from one direction to another. But luckily, we see that more and more countries are more open minded when it comes to cannabisAs well as that the majority of the population of most countries is now in favor of some type of regulation or even legalization of the plant. So we believe that we have seen a turning point and hope that the path to global legalization has started slowly.
We believe that it is a matter of time before cannabis is regulated in the countries of Europe and also at the European level. Hopefully the rest of the world will follow us.
A controlled marijuana production experiment is about to start in the Netherlands. If it is a success, we hope that this model can be copied in the rest of Europe. I think the Netherlands can play a leading role in this, as our history of liberal cannabis has taught us a lot in the previous years. We know what we did wrong and how to do it better.
Keep reading with our article on Amanda Feilding: the aristocrat who defends the therapeutic use of LSD and Athletes who use marijuana.
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