Marcus ‘Bubbleman’ Richardson is one of the most interesting men in the world, let alone the cannabis world. From his early days, Richardson was a hemp activist who revolutionised the extraction method. He also has become a social media star, specialising in cannabis macro photography. Marcus was born in Winnipeg, the 8th largest city of Canada in 1973.
The story begins in 1993, when Marcus presented himself as a a hemp activist. By 1995 Health Canada were granting licenses for the first legal hemp field. These were the first licences to come on to the statute in the province of Manitoba for 73 years. The man running this hemp field was none-other than Marcus Richardson.
Richardson and his friends had managed to make this happen by studying the law and finding clauses. The first goal was of course was to bring this industry away from being considered experimental and apply a new label. Richardson used the term : “Commercial”. He and his friends set up a business known as Manitoba Harvest. Three years ago, this company sold for 133.5 million dollars.
Marcus had chosen a different path that saw him moving to British Columbia to grow Cannabis for the BC compassion club in 1996. The compassion club provided cannabis and natural therapies to those whose conditions could not otherwise be cured. Undoubtedly, part of the attraction to his job was being able to grow Cannabis for those who were in dire need.
This work was deemed illegal at the time, Whilst working there he was once arrested with 16.5 pounds of medicine in his truck and around 6,000 dollars in cash. This became a very famous court case in Canada. However, Marcus was let off with no time served and the court even ordered that he have the 6,000 dollars returned. By 1998 he was affiliated with Consolidated Growers and Processors inc. Whilst there he was involved in a Hemp phytoremeditation project in Chernobyl, where the soil was made toxic by fallout from a nuclear meltdown. Hemp was used to reduce the toxicity of soil effectively, of which Richardson is proud.
In 1999 the “Bubbleman”was born. Marcus set up Freshheadies LTD with the aim of popularising the water bag method. This led to the first 3 bag multitasking filtration kit, and then to the 4 bag system all the way to the worlds first and only 8 bag extraction kit. These bags became known as Bubblebags, hence the name Bubbleman.
Bubblebags gently extract Glandular Trichome Heads from the Cannabis plant. Trichomes are where you will find the majority of the THC, Cannabinoidsand terpenes of the plant. By using water and ice one can easily extract the medicine from the glandular trichomes. Ice freezes the wax membrane as well as the oils and cannabinoids. The next part of this process uses more ice and a mixing process. The plants become so brittle you can break the heads from the trichomes. They are then placed in water where, due to their greater density, they sink to the bottom.
If you compare the bubblehash against the hash coming out of Pakistan and Nepal in the 80’s and 90’s, you’re looking at a rise from 20 percent heads to 99.9 percent heads. Bubbleman is essentially the Walter White of the cannabis world, with Bubblebags being sold in over 200 countries. He also has his own branded dry sift method for extraction. The dry sift technique is used to develop forms of hash such as kief ( your friendly next door neighbour) also known as dry sift. This technique works with an extremely fine mesh, which you use by hand to sift the dried flowers (or trim);removing resinous glands and refining the extract into a granular consistency. High quality sift is appreciated for its artisanal process and revered for its terpene profile, its potency and an ability to melt or vaporise completely.
In 2013 he started growing weed legally for his own medicinal use and by 2014 he had set up a research and development company in Jamaica. The focus of the research was on the effects of different strains of cannabis when applied to different ailments. He is attempting to identify the cannabinoid profiles of specific strains, which could prove most effective in treating certain medical conditions.
Whilst starting up Freshheadies, Marcus was intent on displaying his work through photography, which is what eventually led to him to delve into Macro photography. Examples of his exquisite work can be found on his website, Bubblemanbrand. By 2008, his work had featured in many magazines such as National Geographic, Cannabis Culture, Red Eye, Weed World, High Times and Heads.
The best thing about Marcus’s social media exploits is the botany and chemistry lessons that come alongside his incredible macro photography. Richardson does not however use his fame for commercial gain. He is the man you would like to see recognising your own company. Many people in the industry are willing to pay for this but Marcus only promotes companies which he believes are doing something worthwhile. Alongside this, Marcus hosts a weekly talk show called Hash church on Youtube, where various very knowledgeable people in their sector gather round, smoke some hash and discuss several topics surrounding cannabis culture. He has lectured at many conferences, 2014’s Vancouver’s Greenrush financial conference being among the most notable.
The most admirable thing about Bubbleman is his ability to see an industry before it has formed. He has always been ahead of his time. The cannabis industry particularly as it applies to uses in medicine has undoubtedly benefited from his example. Marcus Richardson is a leading light in the industry, a man who has a great deal more to offer.