The landscape of online seed sales has changed dramatically.
The relationship used to be a breeder or a small group of breeders would sell to customers. There were big individual players like DJ Short and groups like Dutch Passion and RCMC.
This has migrated to big seed banks who aggregate seed from a bunch of breeders and groups of breeders. This is how you are able to sign on to a site like seedsman or ILGM and see the huge variety - way more than any breeder or collective could ever produce. Some seed banks are up front and clear about which breeders their seeds come from. Some do not disclose this info. None of them produce it all on their own.
Back when the relationship was more breeder specific the breeders had a big stake in the quality of the genetics they produced. There was more attention paid to stabilizing genetic lines to reduce phenotypic differences. More time spent backcrossing to produce stable genetics. This is part of the reason why you’ll notice so little phenotypic variation in stuff like NL#5 or White Widow.
The fact that there’s so much phenotypic variation in many of the newer lines tells you that you the work of stabilizing the line hasn’t been done to the degree it should have been. If this was coming from an individual breeder the market would have no tolerance for it and they’d be out of business. Since the breeders are being shielded by the anonymity of a seed bank the pressure is off as far as producing a reliable line and instead left to focus on the things that drive the market today: THC Content and clever names. The focus shifts to volume sales and recurring transactions. A steady supply of new genetics keeps buyers looking for the next thing and banks shifting towards selling nothing but Femm’d seed ensures buyers who don’t clone need to keep coming back. It’s smart business if nothing else. How’s this gonna play out for cannabis breeding in the long run?