MAUI WOWIE
ISSUE 15

MAUI WOWIE

The true myth of a legendary strain.

In the 1970s, Sanford Hill was living in a house sur- rounded by pineapple and root ginger fields, taking photog- raphy classes at Maui Community College, and “making money from the earth”: breeding pedigree German shepherds, fishing, selling avocados, or throwing a rope over a waterfall and climbing down to gather opihi shellfish to sell to fancy restaurants.

One day a friend called him to come and see something in his gar- den. It was a six-foot-tall cannabis plant with such heavy buds that he had sticks holding up each one. As a high school surfer, Hill had sold pot brought over from Vietnam, but he hadn’t known it was possible to grow it in Hawaii. He started culti- vating his own plants, making it up as he went along until he landed on a cross between an Afghani hash plant and a Thai sativa, tall enough for the wet climate, with long clumps like baseball bats. “The proof was in the smoke,” he says.

“Most people could only take a hit or two, and they were done.” Then a neighbor kid ripped off the whole stash. But Hill had saved a ba!ie full of the seeds, and the seeds grew into something special. Here, he tells the tale of his “life in the rainbow,” a moment when plants, people, and place were aligned: There are some places on this planet that are truly unreal. H na, Maui is one of them. It’s isolated by a long, sometimes one-lane road that winds slowly through the Hawaiian rainforest. The road forces you to slow down from Maui-time to H na-time, where days and years mean nothing.

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In the 1970s, Sanford Hill was living in a house sur- rounded by pineapple and root ginger fields, taking photog- raphy classes at Maui Community College, and “making money from the earth”: breeding pedigree German shepherds, fishing, selling avocados, or throwing a rope over a waterfall and climbing down to gather opihi shellfish to sell to fancy restaurants.

One day a friend called him to come and see something in his gar- den. It was a six-foot-tall cannabis plant with such heavy buds that he had sticks holding up each one. As a high school surfer, Hill had sold pot brought over from Vietnam, but he hadn’t known it was possible to grow it in Hawaii. He started culti- vating his own plants, making it up as he went along until he landed on a cross between an Afghani hash plant and a Thai sativa, tall enough for the wet climate, with long clumps like baseball bats. “The proof was in the smoke,” he says.

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In the 1970s, Sanford Hill was living in a house sur- rounded by pineapple and root ginger fields, taking photog- raphy classes at Maui Community College, and “making money from the earth”: breeding pedigree German shepherds, fishing, selling avocados, or throwing a rope over a waterfall and climbing down to gather opihi shellfish to sell to fancy restaurants.

I first lived in lower Nahiku along the rug- ged, pristine coastline surrounded by miles of tropical jungle and streams. When it rains there, everything turns into crystals. It’s the perfect place to grow weed.

It was like stumbling into a paradise that nobody knew about; back then, the only way you could find it was by accident. I first lived in lower Nahiku along the rug- ged, pristine coastline surrounded by miles of tropical jungle and streams. When it rains there, every- thing turns into crystals. It’s the perfect place to grow weed.

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When someone found one of my patches, instead of ripping me off he left me a note: “Wow, nice buds. Come have a beer.” That’s how I met the Nahiku Guerillas, who had their own baseball team. We’d go to Hamoa, Koki, or Waikoloa Beach in the morning and hang out all day, surf, smoke, build a fire, grab some lobsters out of the ocean.

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