by Dustin M. S.
Most dispensaries I have visited focus mainly on providing medication to patients, while keeping a couple of clones available for patients to purchase. These clones are usually from a local garden and a good portion of the time you don’t have the luxury of choosing between one rooted in soil and one rooted in a soil-less medium such as rockwool. Some will say that this is done on purpose in order to keep the high quality strains out of patient gardens so they have to purchase from someone else, I don’t necessarily think this is the case, but none-the-less it is sometimes difficult to secure good genetics unless you have an established network of fellow growers. This is where Cloneville comes in.
I was in search of some high quality genetics at a local dispensary (I had seen them there before) but when I got there I was surprised to see that the case had been cleaned out. When I asked the bud-tender he replied “We don’t even bother with it anymore now that Cloneville opened up around the corner. They have amazing clones and we refer everyone to them.” Naturally I went in and was delightfully amazed at how they had set up shop. The owner Tommy was easy to talk to and very inviting. I purchased a clone and two weeks later was amazed at the stamina and health of the plant. I knew I wanted to get an interview with him. When I returned to inquire about an interview, I learned that he is partners with Calvin Frye. If that name sounds familiar, it is because he co-starred in the movie “Super High Me” with Doug Benson. He is one of the original pioneers of the medical cannabis movement in California. Calvin started in 2005 when most people in Los Angeles were still fuzzy on the medical cannabis movement. He holds a master’s degree along with a vast educational background relating to the cannabis industry. We set up the interview and a couple days later my partner and I set out.
My partner Alec and I showed up just as Tommy was winding down for the day. We arrived in the late afternoon, entering the modest storefront that gives way to a well-kept reception area. There are lists of available strains on the counter-top for patients to look over while Tommy verifies their medical credentials. The atmosphere in the reception area is warm and cozy, and the big smile on Tommy's face will put even the most nervous patient at ease. Once you talk with Tommy it's plain to see where his passion lies: the art of cannabis cultivation. He's outfitted in comfortable clothes, with glasses resting over his forehead and a pair of small scissors behind his ear. The classic music (not “classical” mind you) piping through the stereo adds a nice contrast when you consider Tommy is a relatively new type of "farmer", who sees the increasing demand for high quality cannabis clones.
We were invited down a narrow hallway to view the best of the best, his top shelf breeds. Our jaws dropped as we were confronted with row after row of beautiful, healthy clones. Some of the legendary strains included Girl Scout Cookies, Ol’ Skool OG Kush, Pre '98 Bubba, XXX OG, and Harlequin. Each one was absolutely beautiful and it was easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing so many high quality strains in one place. Next, we continued down the hallway to another room, this one filled with equally beautiful but less prestigious strains. Again we were mesmerized as we looked over row after row of healthy, high quality clones. Some of the varieties in this room were DJ Short Blueberry, Skywalker OG, King Louie XIII OG Kush, Obama, Cherry AK and Fire OG. Each clone in Cloneville is the result of Tommy's hard work and experience, and we could tell he's proud of his achievements so far. Cloneville hopes to branch out into the general public market once the laws are in place, in order to provide high quality clones to patients and recreational users alike. Not only is the quality top-grade, but so are the prices. 1-20 clones are a suggested donation of $20 each, 21-50 are $17 each, and 51-99 are $15 each! All of your cloning needs are taken care of in one place at Cloneville.
After the tour we sat down in Tommy’s office, he called Calvin and put him on speaker phone. Our first question was why Seattle? They said they had so many growers from Seattle coming down to California to acquire their genetics they decided there was enough of a demand to make it feasible. So they moved in on Rainer Avenue South and opened up shop. But this isn’t the only goal these cannabis entrepreneurs have. Calvin and Tommy envision their area becoming the new “Little Amsterdam” hoping to attract patients from all over the northwest and the rest of the country alike. It is refreshing to see how professional and serious both Tommy and Calvin are in their dealings with the public. Calvin stressed the importance of professionalism in this industry saying it is “like any other business in the way things should be run.” It is obvious that both of these gentlemen were ahead of the game. Instead of waiting for the industry to catch up, they are designing the very foundation of the industry by making it so with their passion and ingenuity. With the business spirit of Calvin Frye and the 10 years botanical experience of Tommy, Cloneville is setting the standard for genetics along with the new surge in entrepreneurship in the cannabis industry.