Legendary Cannabis Breeder Subcool Has Died

The news hit the industry hard, displaying the ripple effects of Subcool’s influence on breeders across the world.

February 3, 2020

Dave Bowman, known to the cannabis world as Subcool, died on Feb. 1. He had been ill for quite some time, battling Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and emphysema, as well as the fallout from a divorce and a California wildfire that took nearly everything he’d worked to create in cannabis. As recently as late 2019, he was working toward a return to the cannabis scene he so passionately supported throughout his life.

The news hit the industry hard, displaying the ripple effects of Subcool’s influence on breeders across the world. Subcool, born Montgomery Ball, went on to develop Team Green Avenger Seeds (TGA Subcool Seeds/TGA Genetics/The Dank) and pioneer cultivars like Jack the Ripper and Space Queen. 

"My primary original goal was to create a line of marijuana seeds that grew out to be high-yielding, fruit-flavored hybrids," he told Big Buds in 2016. "The first fruit taste and scent we perfected was lemon. Then came grape, cherry, and orange. Pretty soon, we were working with chocolate tastes and scents. I was so excited about these cultivars and I gave them out to other professional growers to see what they said. People told me they loved these strains. Not just the taste and scent, but also their new kinds of highs."

He developed his organic recipe for Super Soil, always fine-tuning the lessons he'd learned in order "to achieve perfection," he wrote

In 2017, Subcool and his wife saw their Santa Rosa, Calif., home destroyed by wildfire. They lost more than 4 million cannabis seeds and all of their breeding plants. By that point, the two had begun to make plans to formally separate; the wildfire made things much worse.

In September 2019, High Times published a profile on the iconic breeder, focusing on a new cultivation facility he and his team were building in a former bowling alley. 

Here, we’ve gathered thoughts shared by cannabis growers and business owners on social media over the weekend:




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Whether you loved him or hated him, Subcool was a huge pioneer to American cannabis culture and breeding. I remember watching the mans videos over a decade ago thinking, what do I have to do to be like him. He literally motivated me to start growing my own, as well as my inspiration to start making seeds and giving them out to folks who couldn’t get away from issues from the clone guys. I know I’ve said it to you before Sub, but I’m going to say it again, thank you for everything you’ve shown and done for this cannabis community. We’ve all had our ups and downs, but it will never take away from the imprint that you’ve had on not only my life and career, but many others out there as well. You will be missed and always remembered my friend. Rest In Peace Sub 🙏🏼✌🏼🙏🏼. #rip #subcool #welostalegendtoday #exoticgenetix

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I am shocked and saddened to hear about Subs death on so many levels. . . I meant Sub in 2008 through Dioxide. . . We shared the passion for the plant and together got the original Jack Herer cut back Into Marks hands after his fathers passing. . . From there we built a bond over a decade. . . From filming in the mist, trips abroad to Amsterdam, the first USA HighTimes cup in Cali, show after show and created many strains together. . . For a decade we were close and then things began to change. . . We had a falling out as he did with many. Still saddens me as men on both sides how we acted towards one another. . . However that shit today doesn’t matter. . . In the end Sub had a mission to bring good weed to people. . . He helped a lot of people get on the map, many breeders, new growers and was always opened. . . I was one of those people. . . He loved the plant and the community. . . We shared in so many conversations heart felt and deep. . . We told each other so many truths about who were were as men and friends. . . I’m sadden that our last conversations were not good ones and it goes to show me personally that life is short and the bullshit doesn’t matter. . . To my friend Monty, I’ll miss you brother. . . I’m grateful for our times together, the strains made, bowls smoked, laughs and experiences. . . You lived your mission and shared cannabis with countless of thousands of people. . . I’ll always remember you for those times and wish you all the best of the other side. . . RIP SUB you will be missed by many and the hard times are now behind you. Love your brother Dirt. #TGATeammates #Subcoolmaythedanklivewithyou

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