HighThailand returned to Ganjana recently to catch up with some of Thailand’s most prolific growers in late January. When we arrived, we found Power Puff, TRex and Olive sitting outside their shop, slowly smoking an enormous blunt deep in a quiet and serious discussion. Underground Grower joined shortly after already in sync with the reflective and pensive mood of his comrades. The growers were discussing the shop’s upcoming events, their recent communal experiments with bubble hash, and their thoughts on the direction of the cannabis industry. These growers, who had started years ago deep underground where their greatest worries were the authorities and getting caught, were now contemplating uptown problems: the challenges created by their own success.
It was in this environment that we sat down with the abovementioned gentlemen to discuss their journeys from those underground days to where we are today. Future articles will focus on TRex and Olive, for today’s purposes we proudly present Power Puff.
Power Puff’s family has been involved in cannabis and Thai traditional medicine going back generations. Growing up there was never a stigma around cannabis. His family appreciated that cannabis is medicine, a healing plant, and a way to provide economically. Power Puff followed in his ancestor’s footsteps growing cannabis 12 years ago when a close relative was diagnosed with cancer. His first grow was used to alleviate his relative’s pain and mitigate the effects of the tumor. He also provided buds to a doctor using cannabis for other patients.
From the outset Power Puff built his own indoor facility using CFL lamps to grow that first harvest and quickly began experimenting and augmenting his process with each grow. “Growing weed is like building a motorcycle. Every little part of the process can be changed and will have effects on the end flower and on other parts of the process. At the beginning, with each grow I would make some changes, moving from soil to hydroponic and then back to soil—eventually focusing on my own soil and nutrients.” The focus on soil influenced Power Puff, alongside Underground Grower, to support and work with Shovel a soil, compost, nutrient and technology company. Shovel is named after a motorcycle shovelhead engine—a common passion of the gents at Ganjana.
“Along the way I discovered various growing methods and what I like. Each of us at Ganjana is focused on our favorite type of weed. I love sweet weed and that is my focus and what I love to grow.” This was the perfect time to request that Power Puff let us try a sample of his choosing. He recommended his Slurricane 9 and presented a mason jar of bright and dusted orange and green plump buds. Slurricane 9, is a sweet, sugary candy smelling and tasting bud—a fine example of Power Puff’s signature. The bud was energizing, clean, clear headed and alert—though also chill and relaxing. The high was accompanied by some pretty serious munchies and we ordered and devoured pizzas.
All through the evening the Ganjana growers were discussing the difference between their early days prior to legalization compared to where they are now. Power Puff reflected on this, “In the early years, the years before legalization there was a thrill. There was always the feeling of being scared of the police. I had to look over my shoulder always and prepare. I even stopped smoking weed after the fourth year of growing. I was traveling every week from north to south and back. Traveling through police check points, getting pee tested every time. I had to adjust my behavior, everything that I did. My farms were off the grid—without a source of water—every three days I was transporting water in the back of a truck to my grow.” He shook his head and laughed, “losing so much of it on the drive over. I built an indoor growing facility and an adjacent house with no walls, just a roof and supports. I would sleep there every night with a 360-degree view of anyone coming. One day they did come. I got out quick and left everything behind.”
“Things are different now. I can sleep. I don’t have that stress and that fear. But when I look back at how it was in the pre-legalization days—I have to say that some of the weed that I am proudest of was the weed that I was growing in my bedroom. The weed I was sleeping next to right at the beginning. I was excited about it. It really had meaning.”
“But at the same time the environment today makes me a better grower. Legalization has led to a lot more competition, which I welcome. Competition makes me pay attention and makes me improve my techniques and makes my flowers better. I can only be a good grower if the customer says I am good. I can only know if the customer says I am good if I have access to the customer. I have access to the customer through legalization.”
Power Puff then presented his Sugarcane, a very sweet and fruity bud with a bit of an earthy aftertaste. The buds, similar to Slurricane 9, are large and plump, green with white dusting and orange hairs. The effects of this bud are stronger with a deeper relaxing body effect. The munchies also returned after the smoke and we once more ordered and devoured a couple pizzas.
Over the joint and pizza we discussed the future of cannabis for Power Puff, for Thailand and for Ganjana. Power Puff offered the following thoughts: “My goal is to breed my own genetics from some of the keepers I have. I want to continue growing sweet, but I want to differentiate myself from US genetics. I want to do something unique. Hopefully I can show this to you in 2023.”
With regards to where the Thai market is and where it is going, Power Puff reflected, “Cannabis is about sharing. That is really the most important part. Helping each other. Ganjana was founded by people, growers who wanted to share and understand what each other is doing. We helped build each other up. I hope this is not lost on the next generation of growers.”
We often write in these pages about the privilege we have of touching and meeting both cannabis and the personalities behind the cannabis we are using. We cannot stress enough how lucky we, and all of us in Thailand, are to have this access. Power Puff is a hardworking, thoughtful, generous, and kind man. He comes to cannabis from history, ancestry, and necessity. His life and his life story are embodied in that sweet cannabis that we are so fortunate to smell, taste and smoke. This is the beauty and magic of cannabis in Thailand today. Our cannabis, the cannabis of our best and most talented growers, comes from a place deep within themselves. There is a personality to it—there is an art. This personality and art are also our quality control. The next time you pick up your favorite buds, make sure you know what you are buying and smoking—know the grower, the personality, and the history of your buds—make sure that your bud’s roots are in Thailand, that it is part of Thailand, Thai culture and Thai history. Do not rob yourself or Thailand of that experience.