Saturday November 1, 2014

By PotGuide.com Staff

An Interview with Bubbleman - Part One 420 Culture
This article was orginally posted on KindReviews.com on November 1, 2014.

First of all, thanks for talking with me today.  I'm always curious about the paths people take.  So let's start at the beginning - way back before you were one of the leading hash makers on the planet.  When was the first time you got high?

BubbleMan

Oh...  I was about... fourteen years old.  Living in Winnipeg--Manitoba.  A buddy of mine, Steve McAvoy, turned me onto my first joint about a block from my house—behind the buildings…  next to a BFI garbage can.  And I’ve never looked back once…  Humble beginnings.

KR

[laughs]  Well, if I can ask you to look back just this once—any guesses as to what you smoked?

BM

It was a joint of some herb. [laughs] I truly have no idea.  We knew nothing of strains back then.  We just knew it was pot and we liked it...  It was a great moment in my life.

KR

Ahh... the good old days—when pot was just pot.

BM

Indeed.  This was around 1987 or so.

KR

So how long was it from then ‘til you first smoked hash?

BM

Oh, not very long.  Not that it was anything I’d call hash these days.  It was shitty imported Afghani hash we’d get from Montreal--probably stepped on like crazy.  But within that year, I was hitting hash for sure.  I smoked cannabis, hash, and oil for the next ten years or so before getting turned onto the [full]melt.  ’95—at Cannabis Cup— was when I first smoked some Skunkman Sam [dry]sift.  And that opened my eyes.

KR

Let's hear more about that experience.  Was that your first trip to Amsterdam?

BM

It sure was.  I went with my Manitoba buddies.  We had just gotten the first license to grow hemp in Manitoba.  We had a company called Emperor’s Clothes—we sold hemp clothes and bags from Asia—we had a booth.  

KR

Can you describe what it felt like arriving there and digging the scene?

BM

It was unreal. It was still at the Pax party house back then: a real tight spot located on the Ferdinand Bolstraat—right next to a Cop shop.  So as you walked in, there were literally 20 cops standing out front next door… that was kinda wild for a prairie boy to witness.  I went to my booth, which was next to Jack Herer and Eagle Bill, and who’s sitting on my table but Ed Rosenthal, puffing a little pipe—a tiny little pipe—filling it with melty dry sift.  One of the first people i puffed with at that cup was Ed.  Meeting Jack [Herer] that year was huge... he was a monstrous inspiration to us getting hemp growing in our province legally for the first time in over 75 years.

KR

At that time, was the Dutch scene mostly into sift?

BM

No, not at all.  Sift was rare.  I didn’t see much of it that year.  Ed and Skunkman were the only two who had the serious bomb.

KR

Was Mila around the cup in those days? 

BM

Yes, Mila was there for sure…  I think she just started selling her pollinator that year or maybe the year before.  She didn’t have bags yet.  Those were to come in ’98.

KR

So most of the hash in Amsterdam at the time was import?

BM

The hash i saw that year was mostly import, which I wasn’t very interested in.

KR

Was the Pollinator was the state of the art for hash technology at the time?

BM

I guess you could say that… Yeah.  But most people were really just into herb... hash wasn’t so popular.  I was just so blown away being in Amsterdam…  And having a booth…  It was a great way to do a Cup for the first time…  Being behind the booth let me meet icons like Jack Herer, Ed Rosenthal, Eagle Bill…

KR

Other than the proper melt that Sam the Skunkman and Ed Rosenthal had, what was the general hash quality around there?

BM

I gotta say, I really wasn’t a hash guy back then.  I was really into joints—smoking pot like it was going out of style.

KR

So that sift you got hooked up with at the Cup was really something unique for you at the time?

BM

Even today if I smoked that with anyone it would be unique to them.  99% gland heads bro…  That’s rare.

KR

So did that experience inspire you to start making your own hash?

BM

You know… Funny enough, I was really stuck on the hemp movement and growing, but hadn’t really figured hash making out.  I figured out making hash around ‘98 at the Cup when I saw the Ice O’ Lator bags for the first time.  To give you an idea of how inspired I was, by ‘99 i was making BubbleBags—I knew almost immediately 2 bags wasn’t going to cut it.

KR

Were you growing flowers at the time too or just industrial hemp?

BM

Oh, I was growing flowers.  In fact, in ‘95 my garden got into High Times’ November issue—the last issue that Jerry Garcia graced the cover for.  I started growing in early Nineties—both cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms.

KR

Did you have specific strains going at the time?

BM

Funny enough—and God, I wish I could say differently—that first strain we grew was Ruderalis.  And it was definitly not super strong. [laughs]  But it was ours, and we loved it.  And we never grew it again.

KR

[laughs]

BM

Next up was Northern Lights #5, aka the Closet Queen.  We got it in Holland that year, along with Holland’s Hope.

KR

Did you have grower friends back in Canada, or was it basically you and your hemp partners?

BM

Oh dude... I sure did.  I had the most amazing man teach me how to grow.  His name is Ron Hickey.  He served a total of 11 years in Manitoba prison for growing cannabis.  I could talk about him for days on end—his life is like 20 movies.  I met him when I was 17 and went into his hydro shop.  He was talking [about] tomatoes, and then he took me into his basement.  I was like, “Look i know you’re not growing tomatoes.” In a time and a place where you just didn’t do that.

KR

Can you describe what went through your mind when you saw his garden for the first time?

BM

Oh, dude.  I ended up being his helper.  I was visiting half the grows in Winnipeg during that time—a super young kid getting brought into all these grows without the growers’ permission.  Ron was a heavy.  He got everyone growing back in the day… and served his eleven years like a champ—puffing people down in prison, keeping people from killing one another.

KR

Any idea how he got started?

BM

Oh, dude! [laughs]  He had a job at the zoo in Winnipeg… I think he was working there on a probation thing maybe.  So they put him with the reptile guy.  He was cleaning a cage one day and had to wrestle a little with the crocodile to get him back into the cage and he got flipped into the wall.  He fell through the wall and all he saw was bright bright light.

KR

In the zoo?!

BM

Yup!  Hidden.  So the reptile guy was like, “You can either tell on me, or you can learn from me.”  And he chose the latter.  This reptile guy was like a mad scientist apparently.  Anyway now Ron has a license to grow in Canada, since moving to British Columbia, and runs a 35-lighter near Nelson.  Eleven years in prison in Manitoba—Federal license across the country in BC.

KR

Holy shit.  That is by FAR the best introduction to growing story I've ever heard.


PotGuide PotGuide.com Staff The PotGuide staff consists of a handful of extremely passionate people who fully believe in the exciting, ever-growing cannabis movement. The team strives to educate users in order to keep people on the right side of the law, while providing entertaining cannabis news and culture to help people stay up to date with the latest happenings in the world of marijuana.


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