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