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A Tribute to Franco Loja, the Strain Hunter

January 11, 2017
You didn’t have to know Franco Loja personally to have liked him or to have felt the waves of his life’s work. When news came last week that Loja had died at the untimely age of 42, the cannabis world responded shock and sadness. He was researching the benefits of CBD for patients with malaria when he also contracted the disease while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Loja leaves behind the seeds of his legacy. Partner to Arjan Roskom of Green House Coffeehouse & Seed Company in Amsterdam, he helped raise numerous genetics taken from around the world. His travels, documented in the series “Strain Hunters,” allowed many to feel like they knew him without ever meeting him personally.

Our very own Anna Wilcox had the chance to meet Loja firsthand in Amsterdam while documenting the Cannabis Cup back in 2013. Since then, we’d kept in contact with Loja over the years. He was always willing and excited to share his expertise for Leafly articles, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him, if only for a short time.

As we mourned together over the news of loss, members of Leafly and our sister companies had only wonderful things to say about Loja; that he was polite, respectful, intelligent, and, of course, passionate. He had as much love to give his fellow humans as he did the cannabis plant itself.

A condolences page has been set up by Green House Seeds so others can share their thoughts and memories of Loja. Today, we remember him fondly and celebrate his lifetime of service to cannabis and to the wellbeing of people around the world. He will be missed by so many, and our hearts go out to his family and loved ones.

“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
May 20, 1974 – January 2, 2017

Lead Image: Franco Loja/Facebook

Bailey Rahn's Bio Image

Bailey Rahn

Bailey is a senior content manager at Leafly, specializing in strains and health. She's spent 7+ years researching cannabis products, spreading patients’ stories, and exploring healthy ways of integrating cannabis into daily life.

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    Where was Arjan ?


      Counting money. Arjan is a crook Franco was the man who made greenhouse what it is

      • cris Vince

        You are so ignorant, Franco came 15 years after, He was with him, they were and are best friends.
        Were where you? patetic hater. This is a tribute for Franco not your 3 minutes of fame.

        you are a sad soul.

        • nouseforaname

          Well they were both crooks I think. At least Arjan. He didn’t give the people he stole the seeds from any money. He even said it in a documentary that they do not get a cut. People on Youtube say karma got him.

          • cris Vince

            Maybe you should do little research before vomit?

            They have a Foundation and are giving back…


            People from VICE are just after shitting on people, they set them up it’s obvious to see.
            Next time do a little Re-search rather than follow the haters too blindly.

            You’ll learn something I promise you!

      • James Colquhoun

        He’s not a crook but hey you’re allowed your opinion. Let me ask you this though how would Arjan help Franco from the Malaria he contarcted not like he has the cure for that… no one does!

  • Overcome Diversity

    Rest in peace, brother. Rest in peace.

  • John Wick

    R.I.P Franco Loja !!! (very , very sad)

  • Kaushik Styles

    R.I.P Brother….. U Remain THE BEST Strains Hunter EVER…..

  • robert cagiva

    We will not forget you Franco

  • James Colquhoun

    Just found this out today I had no idea.. RIP Franco anyone that helps educate the world about cannabis is a hero in my book!