Canis is not a stranger, I am a big fan of his flowers and have conversed with him over instant messenger usually after I have the good fortune of smoking his weed. But I had never met him face to face until HighThailand made its maiden journey to Ganjana. From previous conversations, Canis gave the impression that he is not a fan of large crowds, noises, or attention. He confirmed this in person. Indeed, Canis is mellow, quiet, and humble. He grows some of the most famous and celebrated weed in Thailand but prefers to blend into the background, never singing his own praises, never touting his own accomplishments. He lets his flowers do the talking. However, to ignore the man and only focus on the flower is a mistake. Canis may be quiet, but he is also deep and profound. A man as nuanced as his flowers.
Unlike other members of Ganjana who came to cannabis through necessity, Canis discovered weed through pure curiosity. An avid grower of water aquarium plants, Canis focused on creating the right balanced environments to cultivate submerged floras. While studying and combing YouTube and the remaining internet for best growing practices, Canis stumbled on parallel information pertaining to cannabis growing. Canis never grew nor tried cannabis before, he nonetheless jumped headfirst into the process and grew his first crop—waiting to conclude his grow, harvest, and cure before losing his weed virginity.
Canis explained the above origins as we smoked his Citradelic Sunset. An energetic and bright sativa with a taste and aroma reminiscent of Thai young mango salad—with a vinegary and sour taste. On this particular interview night, Canis was adamant that all of his cannabis first be ground properly and then kept in a porcelain jar to capture the aromas. Once opened, aromas popped out of the jar as the master grower looked on carefully watching our every reaction as we breathed in scents, took initial tastes of vapor to understand the terpenes, and finally smoked our joints.
Canis’s flowers have earned accolades and praise throughout Thailand (and internationally) putting him amongst the top of growers in the kingdom. When asked how long he has been growing, Canis smiled and answered “I have been growing for three and half to four years and have completed 13 grows. The joint in my mouth almost fell out as my mouth gaped in shock when hearing this. Canis—a lover of detail—spent his first ten grows (almost all his grows to date) changing at least one factor in each grow until he came to a process he felt (mostly) comfortable with.
In Canis’s words: “I googled, listened to podcasts, listened to everything. I change the way I grow every grow. After the tenth round I combined the best steps of my previous grows. 65% of what it takes can be following directions and instructions. But the rest, what it takes to go from good to better takes a lot of heart. Many phases of growing. Attention to detail. Get one detail wrong and the quality will drop by 20% or more. And if you don’t pull the harvest and cure off properly, you can lose it completely. Harvesting and curing is 50% of the process.”
We moved seamlessly to the second strain, Pineapple Burst. Canis nodded in approval as we enjoyed another sativa dominant strain and took the short walk to the skate park next to Ganjana, passing Stoner Cats and a lone cannabis plant on the way. The bud was citrussy—not as sour as the Citradelic Sunset—but earthier with uplifting effects and a more relaxed feel. We walked in the dark around the edges of the submerged skateboard bowls—I would not advise doing this on a strong indica.
We spoke about legalization and the benefits, Canis volunteered “it caught me by surprise. I heard it was going to happen in June, but I didn’t believe it. Then it happened and I wasn’t prepared. I am about six months behind where I want to be. I wanted to have more phenotypes and a second farm. It will take time but there is more to come.”
“But the best thing for me about legalization is that I get to see, meet, and watch my customers. It is more fun now. I can see them react and enjoy my cannabis. I can ask for feedback. Previously I would maybe meet maybe one or two customers a year and I had to be very careful seeing them and meeting them. I used to deliver all my cannabis personally disguising myself as a grab car driver. On one occasion a repeat customer told me that he wanted to meet Canis Major and asked me to pass that message on. I told him that Canis was busy, but after a few more deliveries, when I felt it was safe, I told him it was me. This guy was also a grower, doing his own thing with soil and natural fertilizer. We were able to talk and learn more from each other. This was also one of the reasons that Ganjana was set up. A safe way to compare flowers and notes with other growers. A safe place to meet and discuss, learn, and compete. We can do this all openly now.”
At this point Canis decided it was time to slow down the conversation or at least the lessen the capabilities of your dedicated correspondent. He pulled out Da Funk, a gassy floral lavender smelling herb with a rich almost Dr. Pepper tasting smoke to it. We smoked Da Funk outside Ganjana with Canis and his fellow members. Chilling, relaxing, and enjoying the cool January evening. This was probably my favorite of the strains tried that night.
At this point the interview was more of a conversation and I asked Canis what he thought of the foreign influence on Thai cannabis culture and the influx of imported weed coming into Thailand. Throughout the night Canis was thoughtful but chill, smiling and enjoying himself, never getting too excited but also taking everything in with good measure. True to this form, Canis replied, “we welcome foreign elite growers to come to Thailand. We learn from other growers, and we are always open to learning more from growers willing to share and teach. As for imports, I only compete against my last harvest and my last batch. My focus is to improve over what I did last time. I’m not focused on where other people’s weed comes from. I’m focused on making myself better.”
It is not easy to describe Canis—he breaks all molds and defies generalizations. He is quiet but confident. He is a master grower but has been growing for less than four years. He seeks competition seeing it as a tool for improvement. He is a tinkerer. He does, observes, changes, observes again, repeating the process until he is comfortable to release his craft cannabis. Once released he observes again, waiting for feedback from the cannabis users. Indeed, his ability to observe the users of his flowers for Canis is the best part of legalization. He is the ultimate cannabis purist. Cannabis does not exist to make the public happy. The public exists to give feedback and make cannabis better. Canis is an artist—the flowers his art—we, the cannabis smoking public, are but a privileged element bringing that art one step closer to perfection.