If you are a cannasseur then you know all about Amsterdam! For many years, the Dutch capital has been a number one destination for aficionados looking for the perfect cannabis vacation destination; a place where you can hang out, get high and meet like minded souls without fear of arrest or police harassment...
Amsterdam is also ingrained into the very fabric of Paradise Seeds. It is the city that gave birth to the European cannabis revolution in the 1970s and it has been at the heart of many of the giant leaps forward in cannabis evolution. It is also the place where Paradise Seeds came to life amidst the city’s vibrant coffee shop scene and is still home to the company and the Paradise Seeds store.
A Brief History of Amsterdam Coffee Shops
The foundations for the great Amsterdam cannabis experiment were laid in 1976 when the Dutch government adopted a drugs policy that distinguished between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs. This was in response to the major social problems being caused by a heroin epidemic that had been ravaging the country for the past four years. The idea was that if hard drugs were separated from soft drugs, they could be targeted more effectively for the good of society. From that point, the coffee shop emerged as a ‘safe’ place to buy cannabis.
Amsterdam became the testing ground for this new policy of tolerance and underground coffee shops such as the city’s first, Mellow Yellow (established in 1967), came into the mainstream. Over the next few years the coffee shop network grew in Amsterdam and spread out to other cities in the Netherlands. Before long there was a coffee shop for every vibe of cannabis customer – from rockers to reggae heads – and a cannabis menu to suit all tastes! The early cannabis tourists could not believe the choice, with a range of hash and weed from around the world on sale.
Paradise Seeds Coffee Shop Connection
The Amsterdam coffee shop plays an important role in the history of Paradise Seeds. It was in the coffee shop environment of the 1980s where growing knowledge and cannabis seeds from around the world were shared as Amsterdam became a hub for cannabis loving travelers from the USA and Europe chasing the hippie trail.
The legendary Lucky Mothers coffee shop was one of those meeting points and it was this coffee shop that bought the pungent produce grown by a young Luc Krol (founder of Paradise Seeds), which he called ‘Mother’s Milk’. As his cultivation skills improved he began to breed cannabis seeds and these were shared with the Lucky Mother’s clientele. As it was an international hang out, his seeds began to travel around the world and reports of their quality soon began to travel back!
From that Amsterdam coffee shop start, and the enthusiastic feedback he received, Luc was encouraged to continue experimenting with the breeding of cannabis plants and within the next few years Paradise Seeds was launched with three strains, including Sensi Star and Dutch Dragon.
Paradise Seeds Flagship Store
For many years Amsterdam has had the reputation for being something of a Disneyland for cannabis aficionados and as the scene has grown so has the service industry around it. Alongside the city’s coffee shops, there are cannabis themed hotels, a cannabis museum and cannabis souvenir shops. And of course let’s not forget the thousands of bars, cafes and restaurants which exist to satisfy a sudden attack of appetite stimulation!
If you’re visiting the city for an Amsterdam cannabis vacation then a stop on your tour should definitely be the Paradise Seeds flagship store! Located just two minutes walk from one of the city’s main tourist attractions, Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace, the Paradise Seeds store has been there since
Sharing the site with the Amsterdam Seed Center, the Paradise Seeds store sells not only all our seed varieties but also carries a great range of accessories, vaporizers and clothing merchandise (for example Paradise Seeds Amsterdam t-shirts). It’s a great place to get all your Amsterdam cannabis tourism souvenirs... which leaves more time for exploring the city’s coffee shops!
Amsterdam: Cannabis Tourism Destination
Legalization and decriminalization around the world have seen a number of alternative cannabis tourism destinations emerge in recent years - such as Barcelona, Denver, California and Jamaica - but Amsterdam remains as popular as ever. In many ways however, the city famed for its gedoogbeleid (‘policy of tolerance’)has become a victim of its own success.
There is currently some political pressure to reduce the number of coffee shops in the capital and remove cannabis from the Amsterdam tourism industry equation. At the same time, there are also official moves towards controlling the coffee shop supply chain by granting licences to ‘official’ cannabis producers. The project, also known as the ‘weed trials’, is set to begin in 2021 and 10 cities (not including Amsterdam) are lined up to take part.
If you’re planning an Autumn break then Amsterdam never disappoints, and flights are cheaper than ever following the fall in demand due to Covid. Don’t forget, if you’re in town, drop by the store and say hello!