Mario Guzman is the legendary breeder behind some of the industry’s most groundbreaking strains, including the game-changing Sunset Sherbet, plus Gelato and its signature variants Bacio, Mochi and Acai Berry Gelato. We caught up with the man behind the Sherbinskis brand to learn more about his longtime passion for the plant.
How and when did you get into the Cannabis game?
I was living in San Francisco in the early 2000s and SB420 was introduced in 2004 – it created a legal framework for guys like me to start growing in their garages.
At what point did your focus shift to breeding and genetics?
It kind of went hand in hand. From the very beginning, I was playing with pollen and had been popping seeds, and I didn’t know anything about it really. I just learned quickly through trial and error. I never considered myself, or, even now really … the term breeder … I just learned to accept it. I just enjoy working with plants and experimenting.
What’s the most difficult part of creating a new strain?
I would say time. It takes a lot of time and patience. Nothing happens fast in this game. From popping the seed to letting that grow out, to cutting the clone to flowering out that plant … drying it, trying it, sharing it, getting feedback … The people I’m partnering with and seeking out are just looking to get back to the quality. It’s not about the biggest buds or the biggest yields – it’s more about the different medicinal effects of these different genetics and opening up that gene pool a little more, rather than some of the narrow offerings that we’re seeing.
What led to your recent realization of the unique properties of the classic ‘Skunk’ profile?
I think being a dreamer and kind of a visionary, I bumped into some SoCal surf brothers who are also visionaries and we had dinner out one night and … we just formed a friendship. I liked what they were doing in terms of studying terpenes, but they were also investing heavily with their own money into licensed facilities – specifically to research terpene profiles and different cannabinoids. With federal laws prohibiting funding and creating a lot of barriers for research, it’s people like Max, Kevin and Jack that had the vision to put their money where their mouth is and know that there’s magic inside. They wanted to be part of the first ones to discover that and so did I.
What are you most excited about for the future?
I’ve been working for the last four years just learning. I haven’t been out trying to make money in seeds or clones or anything. I’m just learning from people in Spain and different countries, and breeders and just people that get down and make seeds. We’ve got about 100 moms of different genetics that I’ve already tested two or three times. I’m confident that I’ve put in the work and I know what’s what, and I’m excited about starting to share some of the work I know I can stand behind that’s a lot more diverse than what we’re seeing out there in the market.