Meet the Man Behind the World's Most Famous Weed Strains | NowThis

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You might not know Mario Guzman — but you’ve heard of his weed strains.
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Mario Guzman, known as Mr. Sherbinski, has been working with cannabis since long before it was legal. He helped create the strains Gelato and Sunset Sherbert, which have been name-dropped in literally hundreds of hip-hop songs.

‘The next thing you know, these strains that we created ended up in a lot of the popular rap songs that you’re hearing now, like ‘Slide’ by Calvin Harris. For example, The Migos are talking about Gelato, which was a big moment for us, because, you know, I’m driving over the Golden Gate Bridge and you hear — someone calls me and says, ‘Hey. Did you hear that Calvin Harris song? You know, they’re talking about Gelato.’ And then that was the moment when I realized that it had transcended past, you know, the little work that we had done, and now it had a global impact.’

Now, his products are on sale at the shop ‘The High End’ at Barney’s New York in Beverly Hills

‘Years ago, people started bringing up the term ‘designer cannabis’ when speaking about the cannabis that we had. And there was a moment when I was thinking about branding the products and I thought, well if something, even it’s a bud or a cannabis plant, is the best in the world, essentially, what does that really mean? And then when you start comparing say clothing to designer clothing, does that mean it’s the finest clothing available? And so people started to associate high fashion and high-priced items with the cannabis, and so we really coined the term ‘designer cannabis.’

Guzman began growing weed in the late ‘90s in his San Francisco garage when California was working to become the first state to legalize medical cannabis.

‘Two [grow] lights sort of turned into many more, and I think it was just being in the right place at the right time during that movement and having access to incredible genetics, what got me my start.’

Those humble beginnings unexpectedly lead to a legacy.

‘When Sunset Sherbert came out, they started calling it Sherbinski. And then, you know, at that time, I wasn’t talking about my name and I was really behind the ‘curtain of protection’ for cannabis. This was 10 years ago. And going in the dispensaries and people knowing about Sherbinski, it’s this person that I made up, Mr. Sherbinski, you know, really became who I was, and what started out as just wanting to make a few dollars to pay my bills turned into me dedicating my life to this plant.’

Guzman has dedicated his life to the plant, but he’s also dedicated it to patients who have benefited from cannabis Guzman’s brother served as a Marine during Desert Storm in the ‘90s, and he was diagnosed with PTSD after being discharged

‘About 5 years ago, he gave me a call and told me that literally, he was suicidal, he didn’t think he could live on anymore. He was on 15-20 different medications. And he ended up coming to San Francisco and living with me, and he ran on the beach with me for a year straight. He lost 100 pounds, he got off all his medications, and all that we did is exercise, eat well, and provide cannabis to him every day.’

Guzman has decades of experience with cannabis, and he’s happy to see weed legalization spread across the country.

‘I think as legalization spreads, a lot of creative minds are going to come up with great ways that we’re able to utilize this plant better, be it fashion, be it food, be it music. And I’m just excited to be at the center of all of it and how I can contribute to it, moving forward.’

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