Paradise Seeds history 2010s cover

Paradise Seeds Story Chapter 3: The 2010s

Welcome to the third chapter in the Paradise seeds story. At the time, few in the cannabis industry would have believed it, but the 2010s would bring a wind of change that would take the weed plant out of the shadows and into the spotlight. By the end of the decade 100 million+ people would have the right to legally consume marijuana around the world.

The 2010s was also a time of big change for Paradise Seeds. Before we start chapter 3 of the Paradise Seeds 30th anniversary history, we recommend reading Chapter 1 and Chapter 2!

By the end of the 2000s, Paradise had established itself as one of the biggest seed banks in Europe. It had helped to transform the market with the introduction of feminized cannabis seeds and autoflower cannabis seeds and won a cluster of cannabis cups.

The Paradise Seeds story. 2010s

Paradise Opens its Amsterdam Store

At the turn of the decade, the cannabis industry was thriving and in Europe grow shops had become a feature of most towns as well as big cities. Paradise decided it was time to plant a flag in the company’s home city of Amsterdam and in 2010 it opened the Paradise Seeds flagship store.

It was situated in the middle of Amsterdam, just around the corner from the city’s famous Dam Square. Home to the Paradise HQ for much of the decade, many plans were hatched here which would define the Paradise Seeds story in the 2010s.

Paradise Seeds store in Amsterdam.
The Paradise Seeds store in central Amsterdam

Paradise Seeds story – exploring medical cannabis

One of theseParadise Seeds story plans was to explore the potential of medical cannabis. Paradise founder, Luc Krol, says, “Since the early days we were getting many emails from medical patients telling us how cannabis helped to ease their symptoms. In the 2010s, along with other seed companies, we started to explore the benefits of CBD”. 

The first medical focused release was Durga Mata ll CBD and Nebula ll CBD, which were developed with the legendary Shanti Baba and the CBD Crew. These 1:1 (THC/CBD) strains were well received by medical patients. 

Emilia's story features in the Green Medicine documentary
Emilia’s story features in the Green Medicine documentary

The Medical Cannabis Bike Tour

Paradise’s interest in medical cannabis took a new twist in 2012 when Luc embarked on a three day cycle trip in Spain with good friend Matej Snail (from Snail Rolling Papers). They had so much fun, they decided to do it again next year… and to invite all their friends. 

The result was the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour, which became a phenomenon on the cannabis scene in the 2010s, raising over 500,000 Euro for research into treating cancer with cannabis. It also became a big part of the Paradise Seeds story in the 2010s.

Paradise Seeds was a major sponsor of five bike tours which cycled through Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia and Italy. It involved many adventures which included a number of lost cyclists, numerous hotel complaints about the smell of weed and two police escorts! 

“It was great fun although at times very stressful organising so many people,“ laughs Luc. “The tour did a lot to change people’s perceptions by combining cannabis with sport. Now it is quite normal (especially in the USA), but back then the concept was something totally new.”

Paradise Luc, Medical Cannabis Bike Tour 2017.
The Medical Cannabis Bike Tour arrives at Cultiva, Vienna, in 2017
Luc Krol hands Dr Guillermo Velasco a charity check for scientific research
Luc Krol presents Dr Guillermo Velasco with an MCBT check.

The Chile Adventure: Paradise Seeds

Paradise also became involved in some huge medical projects including working with licensed producers in North America and supplying all the seeds for South America’s biggest legal grow in Chile. This would set the tone for this episode in the Paradise Seeds story, with involvement in various medical cannabis operations around the world.

Paradise Seeds story – Chile seeds

The Daya Foundation had written to every cannabis seed company looking for seeds, but Paradise was the only one to reply. A special government import licence required Chilean officials to account for every one of the 400 seeds listed on the customs form! In 2016, the Daya Foundation cannabis plantation became the biggest legal  grow in South America – powered by 6,500 Paradise Seeds plants!

The Daya Foundation cannabis plantation.
The Daya Foundation grow, seen from the air.

Paradise produced a film of the Chilean experience, Green Medicine, and became a regular visitor to Santiago’s Expoweed. 

Paradise Seeds at ExpoWeed, Chile.
Paradise Seeds at Expoweed, Chile.

Tommy Chong Collaboration

Away from the focus on medical cannabis, the movement for legalization of recreational cannabis was driving huge changes in the USA since Washington State and Oregon voted for it in 2012.  

Since the early Amsterdam days of the Paradise Seeds story, Luc and the crew had been big fans of the stoner comedy of Cheech and Chong. So when Tommy Chong reached out in 2017 with an idea to develop a range of strains, Paradise jumped at the opportunity. 

Tommy Chong's Collection seeds from Paradise Seeds

Mendocino Skunk, L.A. Amnesia and Blue Kush Berry, were Paradise’s first modern Californian strains. These were quickly followed by Space Cookies and Californian Gold. We would get to hear much more about California strains in the years which followed. 

As the decade came to a close, Paradise strains were in demand from Licensed Producers around the world supplying newly legalized medical and recreational markets. Legalization was on the march and everything was looking rosy in the garden. Nobody could anticipate that the new decade would begin with a global pandemic, which would affect everything.  

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