Famed Cannabis Pioneer Franco Loja Has Died Aged 42
1 min

Famed Cannabis Pioneer Franco Loja Has Died Aged 42

1 min

It is a sad day indeed; Franco of Strain Hunters, a pioneer of cannabis discovery, exploration, and breeding has unexpectedly passed away during an expedition to find new cannabis strains.

2016 was a brutal year, with many huge mainstream names being taken away from us. It would seem 2017 is eager to follow along the same path, already claiming a prominent name. Franco Loja of Strain Hunters, a legend of the cannabis world, died on the 2nd of January 2017. It is a sad day for the entire community.


Franco was to the cannabis community what Steve Irwin was to the natural world – a fearless explorer and pioneer. He also passed just as shockingly and unexpectedly. While there has not been any official word at the time of writing this as to the cause of Franco’s death, it is thought that it was due to malaria, and he was thought to be traveling through the DR Congo hunting landrace strains at the time.

Franco was one-half of the illustrious Strain Hunters seed bank, and head breeder at Green House Seeds – one of the most award winning cannabis seed banks of all time. He dedicated his life to hunting down, documenting, and breeding with unknown and original landrace cannabis strains (hence Strain Hunters’ name), and could often be found delving into the wilds of the world in pursuit of untouched cannabis.

Franco spent over 25 years collecting cannabis seeds, and made a positive impact on the lives of many across the globe. He will be sorely missed.

“Cannabis is my passion, my bread, my home. I feel it is my duty to make sure this amazing plant is preserved and enjoyed. I am a smoker, a grower, a breeder, and a Strain Hunter for Life.” — Franco Loja, Strain Hunter – May 20, 1974, to January 2, 2017.


The dust is yet to settle, so it is hard to say exactly how the sudden loss of Franco will impact the two seed banks he was involved with. However, it is likely to be quite a large one – Franco’s expertise is hard to match, and he was a close friend to many, so both seedbanks are going to be hit both emotionally and functionally.

Irrespective, Franco’s legacy lives on through both seed banks. His hard work and dedication have ensured that cannabis has been accessible to those who need it, and have helped shape and develop the cannabis community into what it is today. We salute his life dedicated to the furtherment of cannabis.

Miguel Antonio Ordoñez
Miguel Antonio Ordoñez
With an AB Mass Media and Communications degree, Miguel Ordoñez is a veteran writer of 13 years and counting and has been covering cannabis-related content since 2017. Continuous, meticulous research along with personal experience has helped him build a deep well of knowledge on the subject.
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