The 30th Anniversary of the Chemdog strain’s black-market legacy in US cannabis is being celebrated with rebirth in the legal scene of Western Massachusetts.
Chemdog. Not Chemdawg. Chemdog. D-O-G. Seems trivial, but that swap has been responsible for more mislabeled strains and shoutouts to the great Greg “Chemdog” Krzanowski’s legend in America’s cultivation scene since 1991.
As the story goes, Chem was at a Grateful Dead show where he purchased some stellar flower which he not only loved, but was nice enough to yield a handful of seeds. “When I got the flower originally, some called it Chemweed, others said Dogbud (they called it that because after consuming it, it made you want to roll around on the ground like a dog),” says Krzanowski. “I combined those two words for those first seeds, taking Chem and Dog and naming the strain I cultivated as Chemdog. No one made that term and name up but me.”
Fast forward a few cycles and cultivation moxie, and the ethereal Chem 91 dropped in 1991, changing strain dynamics and the cannabis lexicon along the way with its various offspring and relatives. That’s right. The Chem 91.
…And it just turned 30.
Chemdog says of the strain, “It was just real special, and it had such a great flavor, probably the most unique flavor that was available in the 1990s at that point, and it was very potent. I’ve had a few people underestimate it over the years.”
Krzanowski now works completely in the legal space and serves as Director of Cultivation for the dispensary group Canna Provisions – its locations in Holyoke and Lee in Western Massachusetts will be the exclusive stores to land his flower. With a new direction in the industry, rising out of the shadows of the black market and partnering with a crew carrying more industry experience at the retail and cultivation level than anyone in East Coast Cannabis, things are undoubtedly looking up for the legendary grower, who is also a highly sought-after glass artist and has blown solo pieces and collaborated with a variety of top glass artists.
Oh sure, one can ask him what his choice strains are in his private stash right now (“Chem D, Josh D OG Karma 99 Cross, Zkittles, Las Vegas Purple Kush,” he says without hesitation), such a moment in cannabis cultural history feels like it it needs the great shimmering boon of stone-cold hard facts to get right to the heart of the matter, and introduce the uninitiated to the legend of Chemdog, as well as remind the other OGs in the scene who’s back, and better than ever.
Behold! A highly numerical and cheery rundown involving nothing but Highly Scientific Super Duper Good Data Because Science. Relish in the intel!
Chemdog’s age when starting his cultivation journey: 16
Strains launching at Canna Provisions in Lee and Holyoke: 15
Amount of Chemdog lineages in the first wide release strain “3 Dog Giesel”: 3
Amount of “duh” responses that last one probably got: At least 1 long one
Year Chemdog was arrested for growing a plant in Massachusetts: 2011
How many plants he had: 98
Amount in personal finance he had to forfeit due to the War on Drugs: $350,000
Chemdog’s age when he became a legal, badged cultivator in MA: 47
Years later he is back in the game and on top form: 10
Weeks it took him as a former cannabis felon to be 100% legal in his home state of Massachusetts via Canna Provisions: 3-4
Breeders Chemdog has on speed dial: 10+
Speed-dial breeders who are award winners in cannabis: All 10
[This is probably where I would move the “years back on top” stat to]
Year he began blowing his famous glass hammers, bubblers, solo pieces and more: 1993
Most expensive solo piece sold (a 20-inch bong): $2000
Grateful Dead shows Chemdog has personally attended: 211
Of those with Jerry Garcia still with the band: 211
Phish shows Chemdog has attended and been a fixture on the scene at: 300+
Number of DMs he has exchanged with Chemdog strain fan Seth Rogen between 2019-2020: 5
Stardawg cuts (a different phenotype of the strain) Chemdog is working with at Canna Provisions cultivation in the Berkshires: 4
Amount that are the coveted Corey Haim cut (the most potent of the phenotypes): 1
Number of original Chem 91 cuts: 1
Clones from original cut currently in rotation at Canna Provisions: 60+
Estimated pounds of cannabis Chemdog has consumed over the years: 2,000
Confirmed strains tried: 100+
Strains in his head stash at home: 30
How much THC testing percentage results influence how Chemdog sees, views, reviews, and considers a great strain: 0
Percentage that’ll trigger THC percentage heads every time: 100
Speaking on the matter of his first product drop, where he will be the first to buy any, Chemdog doesn’t hold back: “It’ll be exciting and emotional,” he says. “To be able to purchase my own pot that I grew 10 years after losing everything, and now I’m buying my first batch of legal marijuana in the market in my home state, it’s a full circle moment that’s hard to put into words. I just hope everyone loves my flower as much as I do.”
Now that you’ve gotten the key information, there’s only one thing left to do: Grab some flower. Be it pressing for some solventless hash, or infusing into delicious foodthings, or just a well-rolled joint, there’s no better way to experience Chemdog than through the sheer beauty of the plant itself.