With the cannabis industry gaining a stronger foothold in Canada, it’s business time for companies like is Royal Queen Seeds (RQS). Already amongst the fastest-growing cannabis seed businesses in Europe, its offerings in the Great White North are expanding at a breathtaking rate.
The online seed company started out as a passion project by a small group of breeders. “Starting up the RQS website was a labour of love and passion, as cheesy as that sounds,” shares Shai Ramsahai, RQS sale manager. “With years of growing experience and experience working in the European cannabis industry, we decided it was time to share some of our creations with the world.”
“We started off small, offering a select few of our favourite, most cherished strains. They proved to be extremely popular, which allowed us to grow and develop our range of seeds even further,” he says.
The RQS team also expanded as time passed, allowing the company to continue developing new and interesting strains, as well as refine some of its classics, such as its ever-popular Special Queen and Amnesia Haze.
Thanks to this innovation, RQS now sells a wide range of items, spanning autoflowering seeds, feminized seeds, CBD seeds, CBD oil, merchandise, and select grow gear. Plus, their stock keeps on diversifying.
“Our push to discover new ways of breeding and new genetics makes us unique,” says Ramsahai. “A fine example is our foray into autoflowering CBD strains. While we have a few award-winning feminized CBD strains, creating an autoflowering CBD strain of worth is a tough challenge, but we feel we have achieved it. We are certainly one of the first in Europe to have done so.”
Another huge industry development that has helped RQS expand its portfolio is legalization. “Legalization movements making progress across the world have spurred genetic experimentation,” says Ramsahai, citing RQS’s new CBD-focused autoflowering cannabis strains, Stress Killer Automatic and Fast Eddy Automatic, as examples. These strains, which are some of the first of their kind, are suitable for people who want to create their own crop of CBD-rich bud without having to be pro growers. “They can plant a seed or two in their back garden and get a personal harvest of CBD-rich weed, growing multiple crops a year,” Ramsahai says.
Currently, RQS products are available only in Canada and Europe, and everything is sold through online orders. “The Internet has opened the door for a much wider audience to find our seeds, allowing growers of all skills and knowledge levels to get hold of them,” Ramsahai says. “What has really struck us is the way the global cannabis community has banded together using the power of the Internet. Before, people had to rely on friends, local growers, and trial and error to learn and grow. The Internet has created a platform for everyone to share techniques and ideas, and easily obtain new genetics to try out.”
The RQS website and Facebook page are great examples of what Ramsahai is talking about. The company receives overwhelmingly positive and genuinely kind feedback from the cannabis community for helping to share knowledge about cannabis, as well as selling its seeds.
Another thing that boosted business for RQS is its ability to process Bitcoin. This form of online payment allows its customers to purchase products with a digital currency not tied to any one country. “Bitcoin provides a safe and secure alternative payment method that has proven immensely popular, especially by those concerned about privacy,” Ramsahai explains. “Once set up, Bitcoins are extremely easy to use, and [they] have become the preferred choice of payment for many of our customers.”
Although the Internet has paved a path for RQS, legal restrictions and ambiguous laws remain common road blocks. The company deals with them, however, with its ability to adapt. “If you are not willing to adapt, then succeeding is very tough,” says Ramsahai. “Laws are slowly changing for the better, but it is not a solid upward trend; you need to be prepared for the downs just as much as the ups.”
Still, the team at RQS isn’t shying away from exploring new frontiers as it sees change coming. “Fortunately, Spain is at the forefront to European legalization and moving in the right direction,” Ramsahai says. “With the spread of knowledge, cannabis has become much more widely accepted by the general populace, especially here in Spain. It is leading to changes in cannabis laws, as evidence and reason overtake fearmongering.”
“It is still early days, but the industry has become a lot more accessible, with people moving away from buying off the black market to growing their own supply in their backyard. This makes things safer and more prosperous for everyone. We are experiencing this change in accessibility firsthand,” he adds.
Since RQS was founded on a passion for plants and for growing, the team wants to help nurture this passion in hobby growers around the world. Ramsahai says offering unique, reliable, and high-quality strains at an affordable price helps make that possible. “Our goal is to have something for everyone while maintaining a strict level of quality. As we are often looking at ways to create something new, the selection process can be quite slow. We won’t select something for retail sales unless we are confident that it can perform time and time again, and not just in the growroom, but in the joint as well.”
When it comes to the great seeds vs. clones debate, Ramsahai says there are two main reasons to grow from seed. First, it allows growers to experience the various phenotypes of a strain. “Not all plants of the same name are the same, so being able to grow a few allows you to find your favourite,” he says. Second, plants grown from seed also tend to have a much better-developed root base with a tap root, giving them the potential to flourish under the right hand. “It is how nature intended, and how it is strongest,” Ramsahai asserts.
Still, not all seed companies sell quality product. That’s why Ramashai says it is important to do your homework and rely on the cannabis community to guide you when looking to purchase from seed company. “Check out the reviews its strains have, awards, grow reports, and just general opinions. A seed company with a good reputation and some tried and trusted genetics will take a lot of the trial and error out of growing from seed,” he says.
With cannabis reform on the horizon, RQS will continue going from strength to strength, and doesn’t intend on slowing down. “We are keeping a close eye on the worldwide legal situation and, with time, will hopefully expand where we ship. Where exactly we end up may largely depend on the global legalization movement, but trust us when we say that the breeding won’t stop,” says Ramsahai.
The close-knit team behind RQS also intends to continue improving its catalogue and experiment with the latest genetics, making sure everyone has access to high-quality cannabis seeds. “To all the fans of our original old-school Dutch genetics in Canada and the USA, we would like to say: Keep an eye out for original RQS, as we are coming your way!” says Ramsahai.
For more information relating to RQS, visit royalqueenseeds.com.
What’s on the Menu at RQS:
Northern Light • Power Flower • White Widow • Royal Critical Automatic • Amnesia Haze • Blue Mistic • Easy Bud • Northern Light Automatic • Candy Kush Express • Quick One • Honey Cream • Royal AK Automatic • Stress Killer Automatic • Shining Silver Haze • Fast Eddy Automatic • Royal Automatic • Royal Cookies • Royal Bluematic • Royal Domina • Kali Dog Shirt • Haze Berry