Simon Smit is a Dutch cannabis breeder who co-founded Cerebral Seeds before founding his own independent seed company Serious Seeds. In the early 1990s, Simon helped to initiate the ‘Second Wave’ of breeders and seed companies that emerged in Amsterdam over the ensuing decade.
Roots in Falconry
From a young age, Simon was interested in becoming a professional falconer. Simon has spoken at length with Christopher Ryan on the podcast Tangentially Speaking about how his interest in falconry led him on a path that would eventually result in him becoming a professional cannabis breeder.
As an 18-year-old, Simon enrolled to become a licensed falconer in Holland. He completed his education but because of a limit on the number of licenses, he was put on a waiting list.
At the age of 25, around the time he finished his University studies, Simon decided to move to Zimbabwe in order to continue training to become a professional falconer.
During his travels to Africa, Simon was introduced to pure cannabis for the first time. In Holland, particularly at the time, cannabis and hashish were primarily consumed with tobacco. Smoking pure cannabis is one of the things that set many of the better Dutch breeders apart from those who did not.
In his interview on Tangentially Speaking Simon talks about his experience with African varieties. He notes Malawi Gold was the highest quality and most expensive cannabis in the region, at the time. He also says that he brought Malawi Gold seeds back with him to Amsterdam and that these seeds were part of his early breeding work.
Sensi Seeds Comes Calling
In the early 1990s, after returning from Zimbabwe, Simon was working as a high school biology teacher when he was approached and hired by Alan Dronkers to work for Sensi Seeds.
At this time Sensi Seeds was an incubator for what became that ‘Second Wave’ of Dutch seed companies.
Nevil, who helped to found the ‘First Wave’ and who would go onto work with Shantibaba co-founding Greenhouse Seeds, worked for Sensi Seeds. Simon (Serious Seeds) and Tony (Sagarmatha Seeds) who co-founded Cerebral Seeds together, along with Adam Dunn (THSeeds, CIA), were all working at Sensi Seeds.
Cerebral Seeds: A Short-Lived Idea
In 1994, Simon co-founded the short-lived Cerebral Seed company with Tony (Sagarmatha Seeds). Around the same time, Adam Dunn (THSeeds) opened the retail seed shop Cannabis in Amsterdam (CIA). The CIA was Cerebral Seeds’ primary distributor.
For a short time in 1993-1994, Simon, Tony, and Adam all worked closely with one another on the Cerebral Seeds project. Because of their early collaborative work at Cerebral Seeds, there is an overlap between early Serious Seeds, Sagarmatha Seeds, and THSeeds varieties.
In 1994, Cerebral Seeds won 3rd place at the 1994 High Times Cannabis Cup.
By 1995, however, Simon, Tony, and Adam all decided to create their own seed companies.
The Sprouting of Serious Seeds
In 1995, Simon founded his own seed company Serious Seeds. For years Serious Seeds was known for their limited menu consisting of only five varieties—AK-47, Kali Mist, Chronic, Bubble Gum, and White Russian (White Widow x AK-47).
AK-47 was an original Cerebral/Serious Seeds offering. Simon has never revealed the lineage of AK-47 saying only that it is a hybrid of Colombian, Mexican, Thai, and Afghan genetics.
The breeder Nebu was the first to describe the cherry liqueur phenotype AK-47 (see Breeding with Purples and the Cannabible). Nebu used his Cherry AK-47 and SomAblaze’s BlackBerry to create his Black Russian variety.
Cherry phenotypes of the AK-47 have been passed around the California medicinal cannabis scene and among growers and breeders on internet forums. The long-time online forum member and breeder Jaws has used CherryAK in his work.
Chronic was an early Cerebral/Serious Seeds offering that was marketed as a commercial producer. The original Chronic was a Northern Lights backcross (Northern Lights/Skunk x Northern Lights). This early version of the Chronic won 3rd place in the Hydro category at the 1994 High Times Cannabis Cup.
In the late-1990/early-2000s, Simon reworked Chronic by introducing AK-47 into the lineage.
Kali Mist was one of the first lines Simon created in the early 1990s. The lineage of Kali Mist, like many Serious Sees varieties, has never been publicly disclosed. It is said to be a Cambodian crossed with another ‘sativa’ variety with a slight ‘indica’ influence.
Simon reworked Kali Mist in 1998 and again in 2000. The reworked versions of the line were bred toward the ‘indica’ and away from the ‘sativa’ expression, in an attempt to reduce the flowering time. As a result, the Kali Mist has lost some of the unique ‘sativa’ traits that made it popular.
In 1995 Serious Seeds released their version of Bubble Gum.
Serious Seeds and THSeeds have their own selections that were bred from the original Bubble Gum that Adam Dunn sourced from a fellow American while he was in Holland (Adam has given the backstory on the Bubble Gum on his own podcast as well as The Potcast).
The Serious Seeds 90s Bubble Gum has been used by breeders like Mephisto in their Hubbabubbasmelloscope project.
In 1996, Serious Seeds released White Russian – a hybrid cross between White Widow x AK-47.
At the time White Widow and AK-47 were two of the most hype strains in the Dutch scene.
Serious Seeds has always been secretive about its breeding stock and methods. Unfortunately, this has been a common feature of the culture of the Dutch/international seed trade. In order to thwart knockoffs, many Seed Companies conceal their methods and the lineage of their varieties.
Over the last two decades, Serious Seeds has expanded its seed catalog adding new varieties. Serious has added a number of CBD-rich varieties, as well as feminized and auto-flower versions of their classic lines.
In early 2015, Simon suffered significant injuries after falling from a ladder while trimming trees. He shattered two vertebrae, broke numerous ribs, fractured his pelvis, and injured his lung. These injuries required long-term recovery and have had a lasting impact on Simon’s health.
Simon helped set off the ‘Second Wave’ of Dutch seed companies. Through his work with Cerebral Seeds, and later Serious Seeds, and with varieties like AK-47 and Kali Mist, Simon helped to breathe some new life into the Dutch cannabis scene.