Chris DeWildt

January 28, 2020 4 min read
January 28, 2020
4 min read

An Interview with Alan Sty of Strainly

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In this interview, Growers Network was able to talk with Alan Sty of Strainly for some insight in to cannabis genetics.

We recently had an opportunity to ask Alan a few questions about his Strainly platform and its unique benefits to cannabis pros and enthusiasts alike. Strainly’s vision is to “empower growers and breeders while maintaining a balanced relationship benefiting patients, breeders and growers.”

Read on for more!

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions today! Can you tell me a little about your background in the cannabis space and what led to the creation of Strainly?

Came to cannabis later than my peers but started growing before all of them. Grew outdoor and indoor. Really enjoyed the experience, especially outdoor. It was my first initiation to meditation, without actually realizing it was.

I was shocked and bothered when I discovered how Big Ag was controlling agriculture and enslaving farmers with their business model based on a combination of proprietary varietals and oil-derived fertilizers and pesticides. I’ve always wanted to do something about it.

When cannabis was legalized in Canada, I immediately thought Big Ag and Big Pharma would take over cannabis using the same proprietary business model and lobbying tactics. I decided to create Strainly in order to connect farmers, individual growers and breeders together and keep genetics abundant and available, in the hands of the community.

What are the benefits for Strainly users?

We have a few benefits for all of our users:

  • Abundance and variety of genetics available.
  • Safety and transparency brought by the review system and our verification process.
  • Convenience thanks to the search features and filters.
  • Patients, professional growers and breeders, as well as hobbyists can easily find seeds, clones, pollen and tissue cultures, in addition to growing supplies, all on one platform, at the right price. They can offer their genetics, their used or new equipment instead of hoarding things they’ll never use. Strainly maintain that fertile flow across community members. The community spirit is strong.

A preview of the Strainly platform for mobile. Connect to other cannabis pros on the go!

What is the biggest challenge you face operating Strainly?

Similar challenges as all of us in the cannabis space. Social media policies toward cannabis accounts are discouraging. Payment processing is also a real challenge.

Covering operational costs, while keeping the platform free for the most part, and staying true to the vision… requires discipline.

What kinds of trends are you seeing with respect to the kinds of strains that cultivators are looking for?

Landrace and heirloom varietals are becoming increasingly available (in part thanks to Strainly) and some breeders tend to go back to landrace or heirloom genetics to work new lines from.

Auto fems are on the rise for individual indoor growers who don’t want to take the risk of procuring infested clones while keeping cycles as short as possible. However, experienced growers still go with regular seeds and pay increasing attention to terpenes potential (no longer so much to THC %).

Variety is desired more than ever. At the commercial level, trends seem to come and go with short cycles, which requires farmers to anticipate trends when procuring genetics and phenohunting.

For that reason, Tissue Cultures have started to appear and we predict Tissue Cultures offer will increase significantly in 2020.

What has most surprised you among the insights you’ve gleaned in building the Strainly community?

First, the amount of seeds that people procure and never germinate!! There are so many genetics out there sitting in drawers or fridges that may never give any plant. It represents so much potential. Healing potential. If Strainly can match those dormant -sometimes rare- genetics with people who will grow them, we’re doing something positive.

Second, the gap between the noise around bitcoins and crypto (especially in 2017) and the number of people actually using them to purchase online. The absence of payment processing options suggested this would become the main payment system in the cannabis industry. In fact, less than 5% of people actually use cryptocurrencies. Most stick to cash, credit cards or -even- Paypal, despite the risks involved (thefts, suspension of services, frozen accounts, loss of money…) when operating in our industry.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about Strainly?

We are big believers in open source breeding. We think it is the best model to foster biodiversity and empower growers and farmers. Open Source Breeding increases seed stocks, resilience and abundance. If you want to support open source breeding, sign the petition here.

Growers Network would like to thank Alan for coming by to talk about the Strainly platform. What do you think readers? Have you tried strainly yet? Drop by the forum and tell us about your experience. Not a member of the forum? Follow on of the “Join Now” links on this page and sign up. It’s completely free and full of great resources. See you there!

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