How hemp seed provider and breeding company Sovereign Fields is planning for the future of hemp, today.
Cultivators know that one of, if not the, most important factor in growing is your genetics. Hearty, resistant strains can stay healthy and yield heavy, regardless of cultivation style. The under-appreciated heroes of the scene, breeders are the cornerstone of the Cannabis and hemp industries, constantly working to provide the best cultivars for farmers to grow worldwide.
CHANGING THE GAME
One such breeding company making serious waves in the hemp industry is Sovereign Fields, as they were one of the first to parlay a renowned Cannabis genetic into the hemp world by creating Kush Hemp E1 – a cross of the world famous Pre-98 Bubba Kush and an elite CBD hemp cultivar. Their creation has sent ripples across the community, with farmers clamoring for their genetics. In 2019, all 10 million seeds they produced were snatched up by cultivators across the US, Canada and Europe.
One of the reasons for the great acclaim of this genetic is the ubiquitous familiarity of the word ‘kush’ with both consumers and non-consumers alike. Hemp is Cannabis and Cannabis is hemp, but these two varietals of the same plant are quite different. Hemp – whose primary active ingredient is CBD – is considered acceptable, healthy and medically viable around the globe.
By crossing a widely recognized Cannabis strain with hemp, they’ve single handedly created a hemp varietal that appeals to consumers of all kinds.
Cannabis connoisseurs who haven’t cared about what’s going on in the hemp industry are suddenly curious to try this new ‘Cannabis-hemp hybrid.’
Former Cannabis consumers who can no longer do so due to their job are hearing about and pursuing Kush Hemp.
Sovereign Fields has developed something big, and they know it. However, they haven’t stopped progressing the scene with their Kush Hemp E1 varietal.
Nay, their 2020 catalog includes Hemptonic, a hearty cultivar known for its aggressive growth, hefty yield and resiliency in a wide variety of climates; Kush Remedy, a Kush Hemp E1 crossed with Remedy CBD, known for its high testing CBD numbers (12-14%) and ability to sustain harsher environments; an autoflower varietal that goes by Lightning Autoflower; and a CBG dominant strain called Alpine CBG boasting 2-4% CBD and 16-18% CBG.
Sovereign Fields expects to produce a staggering 45 million seeds in 2020, a huge step up from the 10 million produced in 2019.
For over 20 years, the team at Sovereign Fields has also been deeply involved in Cannabis under their sister company that handles THC products – Humboldt Seed Organization. Acting in a similar role as their hemp counterpart, the goal from day one has been to develop, stabilize and make widely available the absolute best genetics money can buy.
Humboldt Seed Organization has been a staple in the community and has worked with hundreds of growers, cultivating in every imaginable style and level of professionalism, from hobbyists to large scale commercial operations and everything in between. These relationships and years of testing and studying the plant have given the team at Sovereign Fields a huge leg up on the competition, many of whom are just entering the scene hoping to cash in on the newly legal crop.
While they have worked with many cultivators, they have also made strides in development at their own farm. Here, the unique environment in Humboldt has played a significant role in helping further the team’s mission.
The area’s diverse climate has allowed for the testing of their genetics in a variety of settings, while minimizing the need to outsource production. With a large percentage of testing going on under one roof, the amount of control is heightened and the consistency and accuracy of their test results improved – shortening their timeline to bringing each quality, stabilized genetic they offer to market.
Despite this benefit, it still requires years of diligent effort to launch a new genetic into the market. “Autoflowers can take 4-5 generations to stabilize,” Co-founder and Co-CEO Eric Foster says. “We did our first few test acres for Kush Hemp in 2015 and we didn’t make seeds and bring her to market until 2018.”
Given their significant experience on the THC side of things, they’ve developed a keen understanding of growers and their needs.
“We want to sell people success, not seeds,” explains Foster. “I consistently talk people down on their orders, you don’t have to do hundreds of acres to be successful.”
With a strong focus on customer support, both Sovereign Fields and Humboldt Seed Organization work hard to offer the highest quality seeds available and to take care of each and every person they do business with.
The success has not come without working through and overcoming many obstacles over the years. Foster describes the largest hurdle to date having been bringing Sovereign Fields up to full federal compliance.
“It’s an ever changing market and there’s no real set goalposts or guidelines. It would be a lot easier if they just said, ‘Everything below 1% (THC) is hemp, everything above is Cannabis.’”
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
There’s lots to be excited about going on behind the scenes at Sovereign Fields.
Continually pushing the envelope, the company is now producing both CBG and autoflower hemp genetics for the masses. At just 45 cents a seed for their autoflower beans, they’ve got the highest producing, highest quality, lowest priced autos on the market.
Just this year, they began a partnership with the wildly popular brand Sherbinskis, a Cannabis company founded by Mario Guzman, the creator of some of the world’s most exclusive and sought after genetics including Pink Panties, Sunset Sherbert and Gelato.
Through this strategic union of powerhouse brands, the team at Sovereign Fields is developing a custom hemp cultivar for Sherbinskis that will be used to expand the brand’s availability outside of California to consumers worldwide.
This multifaceted organization also has an arm in the craft hemp distribution scene and regularly moves over 10,000 pounds a month of smokable hemp flower to consumers all over the world. All of these accomplishments are made possible by a diverse staff of nearly 200 employees.
The team at Humboldt Seed Organization plans to bring a branded product line to California’s adult-use market within the next 18 months.
With so much development going on behind the scenes of these businesses and in terms of legislation around hemp and Cannabis, we are excited to watch both Sovereign Fields and Humboldt Seed Organization continue to innovate and grow over the coming years.
Ryan Davidson, Co-Founder,
Lead Breeder and Co-CEO
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
story by nate williams @natew415/CALIFORNIA LEAF | photos by sovereign fields