When you go to Jorge Cervantes’ YouTube channel, an intro plays an instrumental reggae tune while dancing through a montage of gorgeous plants. Famous for his work “Indoor Marijuana Horticulture,” and his “Grower’s Bible,” Jorge was actually born George Van Patten. He chose the name Jorge Cervantes for his pen name, inspired by his favorite author Miguel de Cervantes, and his wife’s maiden name. Originally, the name also served another purpose- this cannabis pioneer needed to hide his identity from the U.S government from 1983-2010.
Today he continues to grow and thrive in the newly legal cannabis culture. Respected around the world for his cannabis guides to growing, he has written for twenty magazines in ten languages, has traveled to five continents, and also hosts a popular YouTube show. With over a dozen books written about cannabis cultivation, he has influenced millions, from the inexperienced grower to the master gardener.
Stoner Magazine (SM): You are the founder of your own publishing company – Van Patten Publishing–can you explain why?
Jorge: I saw the demand for an indoor marijuana grow guide back in the early 1980s and decided to write a book about it, Indoor Marijuana Horticulture. I looked high and low for a publisher and had no luck. They told me that all the information had been published on cannabis cultivation and that there was not a market for such a book. I thought they were wrong and decided to publish the book myself. It was a big job.
I had no money and made a deal with the local print shop for me to come in at night and print the book myself. Once printed, I hit the road and sold it out of the trunk of my car. The first year, 1983, I sold 6,000 copies.
SM: In your estimation, what is your greatest work to date?
Jorge: The Cannabis Encyclopedia is definitely my best work to date. The large format, 596-page book with 2,000+ color images took me six years to research, write, edit, re-edit, and publish. I was fortunate to be able to work with the absolute best technical editors, copy editors, photographers, and writers in the world. Published 4/20/15, the book is my opus. The Cannabis Encyclopedia is probably my last book. I have been writing for the last 34 years and it is time for a break. My work has dominated the cannabis cultivation sector and it is time for new writers to take over.
SM: Indoor or outdoor cannabis and why?
Jorge: In general, I prefer outdoor and greenhouse-grown cannabis over indoor cannabis. The indoor cannabis may be showier with better “bag appeal” but I just can’t get by the huge carbon footprint that indoor gardens make. Another factor is that indoor cannabis does not receive ultraviolet (UV) light and UV light could affect cannabinoid content and profile. We still need to study more to find out all the details.
I am quite partial to Haze and Haze-dominant varieties. I prefer the soaring high delivered by this type of variety. It is also emotional and nostalgic. I was hanging out at the Cannabis Castle in the Netherlands with the proprietor, Neville, back in the early 80s. I asked him for a bit of smoke to take to Amsterdam with me. We went into the grow room and Neville broke off a 3-foot-long branch of Haze, the original Haze plant developed by the Haze Brothers in California and stabilized by Dave Watson.
I rolled huge joints and smoked on the branch for almost a week. The best part was that I continued to get higher and higher with each puff on each joint. Ahhhh . . . the old days!
SM: Do you think the healthcare industry will ever embrace cannabis?
Jorge: The healthcare industry in America is just that, an “industry.” It appears to be more concerned with controlling the market and maximizing profits. The healthcare industry is terribly afraid of natural herbal cannabis medications because we can grow cannabis at home, and the cost of production is low. They are doing their best to restrict the sacred herb.
I believe they will continue to shun cannabis and do their best to control distribution. They will do us no favors!
SM: Is there a question that nobody has ever asked you that you wish someone had asked?
Jorge: Yes! So often people ask about different varieties (strain is a misnomer) of cannabis. They ask about the lineage of the variety and specific qualities. Nobody has asked me about genetic markers or marker assisted selection. Marker assisted selection is the germane to modern breeding techniques. The vast majority of “breeders” today are using techniques that are centuries old. The Cannabis Encyclopedia has a lot of information on marker assisted selection.
SM: Do you have anything out now or coming out soon that you would like to talk about?
Jorge: We are posting two videos a week on my YouTube channel. The channel has 130,000 subscribers and 15,000,000 views.
Browntrout will release my new 2018 calendar later this summer.
I will be speaking at the International Cannabis Conference in Vienna in September.
We are releasing a new CBD isolate line under my newly formed company, Cervantes Co. Our headquarters are in Denver, CO. This is a grand departure from publishing and I’m excited about it.
SM: As an author, what kind of message have you hoped to give people from the volume of your work?
Jorge: The message has changed over the years. The base message that has persisted is to grow more, and better cannabis everywhere. At first, I was similar to a promoter and supporter of cannabis cultivation. I supplied a lot of information that was very difficult to find. I conducted a lot of research and interviewed hundreds of growers. I worked hard to disseminate information to everybody, and still do. Lately, I have been more pointed and precise in my message. Now I’m concerned about improving the gene pool with modern breeding techniques. I have watched so-called “breeders” unknowingly work with recessive genetics and stagnate growth. You see, most all breeding was concentrated in the Netherlands and later Spain.
The breeding game was a free-for-all, with no checks and balances. Politics, money, and ignorance dominated the industry. Today, we can legally use scientific methods to find markers, stabilize varieties, and develop outstanding new seed stock. Breeders now have the support of companies like Phylos Bioscience in Portland, Oregon to further their breeding programs.
TO VISIT JORGE’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL CLICK HERE
TO CHECK OUT JORGE’S BOOKS CLICK HERE