by Andre Grossmann. published in HIGHTIMES 237/ Cannabis Cup Issue, May 1995

Nevil SchoenmakerNevil, an Australian of Dutch heritage, founded The Seed Bank with a small classified as in HIGH TIMES in July 1984. His company became a runaway success story. Two years later, Nevil paid taxes on $500.000 worth of seeds, sold to more than 15.000 different growers in the United States alone. His as in HT jumped to a 1/6 page display ad in October 1985. In 1987, then-executive editor Steven Hagar traveled to Holland, researched Nevil’s biography and dubbed his house “Cannabis Castle”. Two months after the article was published, Nevil’s HT ad jumped to a full page in color.

The 1st Annual Cannabis Cup, designed to pay homage to the growing cannabis scene in Holland, was held in 1988. Skunk #1 from Cultivator’s Choice took top prize, but the next year, Nevil’s Seed Bank swept all five awards. Unfortunately, three weeks after the 1990 Cup, Nevil was arrested while visiting his family in Australia.

Some felt then-Drug Czar William Bennet, who was angered by attacks in HIGH TIMES concerning his alcohol and tobacco addictions, was hoping to shut down HT through Operation Green Merchant and Nevil’s arrest. Editor-in-chief and Cannabis Cup founder Steven Hagar was subpoenaed for Nevil’s trial.

Fortunately, however, Nevil escaped and disappeared. Although his whereabouts remain unknown, the strains he mailed around the world live on and are still being developed at Cannabis Castle. Nevil’s life story rivals that of HT founder Tom Forçade, and Hager’s biography of him can be found in HIGHTIMES Greatest Hits: Twenty Years of Smoke in Your Face, published by St. Martin’s Press.

Apparently, a couple of New Orleans DEA agents had bought some of Nevil’s seeds by mail, and lodged a 44 count indictment against him.

Early in 2000 Nevil Schoenmaker and others have created the “Foundation for Cannabis Genetics”, aiming at delivering suitable Cannabis to the Cannabis Agency.


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