Among the most famous cannabis breeders in the world is Christopher Lynch.

He's acquired quite a name for himself with his impressive selection of strains, including Pink Certz and Apples & Bananas. His forte lies in creating innovative flavors with rare genetics - and it has definitely paid off. Lynch was given the prestigious Strain of the Year award from High Times in 2022, as well as being named one of the 100 most influential people in the cannabis industry by them the year before. Furthermore, Pink Certz won First Place at the Transbay Challenge III that same year, while La Bomba went on to clinch first prize at Spannabis 2022 in Barcelona.

After undergoing brain surgery to remove a cerebellum cyst located in the back of his head in 2014, Lynch was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson's. Life is precious. Don't wait to pursue your dreams and goals. Life can change overnight. You must be grateful for what you have.

In 2019, Lynch moved down to San Francisco to pursue a career in cannabis with expertise in plant breeding and genetics. Lynch was born in California and grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon, near Portland, Oregon.

When he was a freshman in high school, the grower became obsessed with cannabis. Lynch dropped out of high school as a sophomore and relocated to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. “I had always dreamed of experiencing Dutch cannabis and the coffee shop culture,” he says. I first visited the Netherlands in 2004. My friend Akko introduced me to Dutch culture and I fell in love with it immediately.”

His time in Holland allowed Lynch to immerse himself in the cannabis culture and he brought this knowledge back to Portland, Oregon, where he began growing medical marijuana.

“When I was in Amsterdam, I met Soma, a legend in the cannabis community,” Lynch says. He is known for the origins of some of the industry's most beloved strains, including Amnesia Haze and Lavender. Lynch recalls that he always had the most beautiful and flavorful organic cannabis at his house in Amsterdam. “I was greatly influenced by his enthusiasm and passion for cannabis.”

“I lived it 24/7,” says Lynch about his cultivation career that began in 2007. It took root in the Portland, Oregon medical cannabis market between 2007 and 2014. A small house garden evolved into a job managing several gardens, spread throughout the city, eventually expanding into a massive warehouse.

In 2013, Lynch noticed the initial signs of something being amiss – his right hand shaking with a tremor. He subsequently visited multiple doctors for 6 to 9 months in an effort to ascertain the cause of his condition. Eventually, an MRI revealed a small cyst in his brain and surgery was arranged; however, shortly afterwards his tremors returned. When he went back to the medical professionals, he was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson's.

The heart-wrenching diagnosis didn’t hold the grower back. His career was only just beginning. He attributes his success to maintaining a positive outlook regardless of his circumstances: “I find something to always be grateful for in whatever situation life throws my way,” he says. 'Gratitude sustains optimism, says Michael J. Fox.'

His cultivation was unstoppable and he returned to the industry with vigor. Lynch admits that adversity motivates him to work harder and faster. “Every time life throws me a curveball or takes me off course from my vision and goals, I readjust my perspective,” says Lynch.

"Life is all about your perspective," says Lynch. "Every day can be great or terrible, it's your perspective that determines that," he says. "Perseverance is key, many of my biggest wins and successes came from perseverance." The meeting I was hoping for, the clone I was searching for, the collaboration I was seeking was finally obtained when I tried and tried again."

Because of the physical limitations of his body, the grower says that one of the biggest challenges about having Parkinson's is not being able to pursue all of his vision and ambition. Instead of focusing on what he has accomplished, he says, he focuses on what he can do better.

When Berner recognised Lynch's talents, Lynch experienced his biggest career success. Berner is the founder of Cookies, an entrepreneur behind many of the collaborations that have included Lynch. Berner provided Lynch with collaborations such as the Wiz Khalifa and Quavo partnerships resulting in famous strains like Pave, Apples & Bananas, Big Face, Blueberry Banana, Eye Candy and Fish Scale with the esteemed Cookies platform.

"We gave Wiz Khalifa a big jar of one of my new strains Berner selected for Wiz," Lynch says. In the summer of 2021, Lynch introduced Wiz Khalifa to weed. The strain became a favorite of Wiz and is now the signature strain for Khalifa Kush, Khalifa Mints.

It was a pleasure working with Wiz and the Khalifa Kush team, according to Lynch. "Wiz knows exactly what he’s looking for and is true to his vision and taste. He is always so cool and energetic whenever we link. I developed the strain Khalifa Mints before working with Wiz, and having him approve and personally select it as one of his signature stains was incredible. It reinforced my vision and taste for creating cannabis."

With the help of Ray Bama from Runtz and the Fire Society, the grower has created exclusive seeds and genetics with the Runtz team, including Red Bullz, Rose Gold Runtz, Potato Runtz, Mellowz, and White Gummy. Additionally, Lynch is armed with his own independent genetics, such as Grape Gas, Gastro Pop, Pink Certz, Krypto Chronic, First Class Funk, Marshmallow OG, Horchata, Jokerz, High Society, and White Rainbow.

Lynch says he focuses on breeding plants with vigor, structure, flavor, terpenes, potency, bag appeal, and hash production that check all the boxes.

According to him, his projects begin with the best genetics he can get, the strongest building blocks. “I follow my taste and what I want to see, regardless of what others tell me to do.” I do me and that always leads me to create greatness with cannabis. In cannabis, there is so much of the same, so I try to create something new and different. Think outside the box.”

Lynch, who founded Compound Genetics, is looking forward to the next phase after parting ways with Compound Genetics. As he explores new creative avenues and ways to combine cutting-edge plant science with the modern-day exotic market, he plans to incorporate science into his work.

Today, Lynch is looking for genetics that will enhance his repertoire. “Blending old with new, rare, trending and common flavors to create unique profiles,” he says. Bodhi, Cannarado, Karma Genetics, Cricket and Cicada, Obsoul33t, Jigga, Deo Farms, Coastal Seeds, and Top Dawg are some of Lynch's favorites in cannabis.

As a grower or breeder, Lynch offers advice on choosing partnerships in the cannabis space because some predatory businesses and investors may not be looking out for the interests of the grower or patient.

According to Lynch, it's essential to evaluate how each section of a contract can impact one’s career. She advises consulting with a lawyer before negotiating any agreement and keeping a checklist of the stipulations that can't be changed in order to secure an investment, licensing deal or asset purchase without compromising. Pay attention if someone proposes something beyond what the main contract states as you could sign away too much and have limited options when it comes to legal action. For instance, arbitration clauses may not be beneficial as they could prevent achieving a fair judgment.

Lynch has advice for other grower and cannabis entrepreneurs: to stand out through offering something unique whilst still satisfying customers' needs. He recommends remaining thrifty and being agile enough to keep up with the ever-evolving circumstances in the industry. Lynch is also an advocate of reducing or getting rid of the cannabis excise tax, taking cannabis off the list of federal controlled substances, changing laws that allow counties to opt out of cannabis use and increasing the number of plants which can be legally grown at home, as well as raising personal possession quantities.

“New York and Florida are the next two states I am considering,” Lynch says, despite the challenges. He plans to introduce his unique cannabis cultivars and growing methods to new, emerging markets. As he says, both states have strong markets and unique vibes that are hard to find anywhere else. Those emerging legal cannabis states on the East Coast are exciting to watch as their cannabis culture develops.”

Lynch is always hard at work, producing a wide range of innovative and delicious cannabis creations - Cookies, Runtz, Certz, Khalifa Kush and beyond. He is determined to push the boundaries of cultivation by introducing something fresh and unique to the industry. “I’m working on combining certain old genetics and obscure varieties with my existing projects," he comments. Over the coming years look out for Red Lebanese x The Puck Hashplant BC1 F2 as it will be incorporated into Lynch's valuable line-up.

As a consequence of legalizing adult-use cannabis, Lynch believes there is a place for medical cannabis in the industry. “It saddens me to see so many states reducing support for medical marijuana,” he says. “Medical marijuana has played a significant role in creating the platform and momentum that legalization is now taking advantage of.”

He says that breeders have so much room for exploration when it comes to the specific cannabinoids and cultivars that help people for certain medical ailments. It fascinates me greatly to identify specific cultivars and cannabinoids that can be used for treating various medical conditions and symptoms. With the improvement of access to the cannabis gene pool and the advancement of medical science, I look forward to seeing this progress.”

A few of Lynch's current head stash items include Zourz, Coma, Cotton Candy Runtz, Sour Diesel x Pink Certz, and Blueberry Banana. The original Zourz is a rare flavor created by Runtz, The Fire Society and Cookie Boy B. Lynch says the terpenes in this strain are a complex mixture of sour candy and sour perfume. The grower says White Headband x Rainbow Cheddar is a real show stopper: “It's a unique combination of flavors that never gets old.”

Since his Parkinson's diagnosis, Lynch has discovered a newfound appreciation for the backing he gets from his colleagues. He explains that finding equilibrium between work and home is necessary - although striving for achievement and pursuing dreams should never come at the expense of mental health.
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