If you’ve ever visited Amsterdam, you may have already found yourself inside the Cannabis College. Housed in a monument-status canal house in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, the College has been open as a free information center with the objective of educating the public about the benefits of the cannabis plant since 1998. This means that in 2023 we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary! Read on for a look at what we’ve been up to recently and what we have planned.
Since opening, we have provided the public with the most up-to-date, peer-reviewed research on cannabis from our free-to-use library for everyone to stay informed and safe. The vast number of options for visiting coffeeshops in Amsterdam can seem daunting on arrival. Therefore, we provide an interactive map with our recommendations for coffeeshops and smoke lounges so that everyone can make an informed decision if they plan to consume cannabis in Amsterdam. Cannabis College visitors can also have their cannabis examined with our microscopes, ensuring that any product they’ve purchased in a coffeeshop is free from contamination.
Downstairs we also have our cannabis garden, where up to five plants at different stages of their life cycle can be seen growing! As this garden is for demonstration purposes only, we focus on showing the results of different types of lights, training methods, and so forth rather than producing a commercial crop. This policy ensures our garden remains tolerated by the Amsterdam police, and we can continue to use it to educate people. With a €3 (£2.65) lifetime membership, visitors can visit our garden as often as they like. Cannabis College membership also grants the use of our Storz & Bickel Volcano Vaporizer, which is a safer alternative to smoking. Of course, you’ll need to bring your own cannabis, but that shouldn’t be a problem in Amsterdam.
Educating against misinformation
An unfortunate consequence of War on Drugs propaganda is that common misconceptions about cannabis persist throughout society today. To educate against the misinformation surrounding cannabis, we offer a Cannabis Basics class that runs daily, with an apt start time of 4:20 pm. If you’re in Amsterdam, don’t miss it – it’s fun even if you’re an expert. The class includes a fifteen-minute presentation, a tour of our garden, and a complimentary cup of hemp tea. Upon completing the class, students will also receive a diploma! To be sure of a place, pop in, email, or call us beforehand; explore your risky, spontaneous side and turn up at 16:15 without a reservation; we don’t mind.
As we develop new courses, we encourage you to let us know what topics you would like us to build classes on. Whether it’s a particular aspect of cultivating cannabis, such as stress training techniques, or a course about medicinal uses, we are keen to hear what you have in mind! (Our contact details are at the end of this article.)
You may have heard that Thailand recently legalized cannabis. With medicinal use already legal since 2018, the Thai Food and Drug Administration has now completely removed all parts of the cannabis plant from its narcotics list. This allows for the possession, cultivation, distribution, and consumption of cannabis to be legal (although extracts and products, such as edibles containing more than 0.2% THC, are still classed as narcotics). As a new cannabis industry emerges in Thailand, the Cannabis Entrepreneur Program of Thailand (CEP) was established to educate its members about starting a cannabis business. Therefore, it was only fitting that in Spring this year, the Cannabis College hosted the CEP during their first educational excursion to Amsterdam. All our staff is thrilled by the prospects these new connections with the CEP present. We also hope that with more visits like this, we can continue creating a global platform for sharing knowledge about the cannabis plant.
Happy birthday to us! Onwards and upwards
Twenty-five years ago, the Cannabis College was born from the dedication of a small group of people fighting for free access to accurate, unbiased information about cannabis for all. Since our opening, we’ve provided a space where people can gain a deeper understanding of a plant that has provided so many uses for civilizations for thousands of years. We even survived a fire in 2002 and, some years later, a flood in the basement caused by heavy rain. Yet, through it all, we have persisted in spreading the message – relying solely on membership fees, sponsorship, and donations. If you’ve ever donated to us, thank you so much!
So, what have we got planned to mark our 25th anniversary? Highlights of the year ahead include a screening, talk, and Q &A for Clark French’s new film, Skunk Madness. These events are planned for May (and we’re writing this in November, so check our website for updates). Clark is a UK cannabis activist and long-term friend of the Cannabis College. Some readers may know him from his previous film GrassRoots: The Cannabis Revolution (on Netflix at the time of writing) and his work with the United Patients Alliance.
We’re looking forward to hosting him and discussing the facts and fiction about the world’s most famous strain, Skunk #1.
We are also launching our new Cannabis College Nugs of Knowledge series, a newsletter that propels our mission of providing education around cannabis into an online format! Nugs of Knowledge provides subscribers with short, informative articles, including serials such as Top Terps. Visit our website to subscribe to Nugs of Knowledge and receive a link to watch our free 18-minute Cannabis Basics video, followed by bi-weekly emails. You can also follow us on Instagram @thecannabiscollege so that you can keep up with everything we are planning for our twenty-fifth year!
We love books and your special events
The ongoing research around cannabis continues, and sometimes discoveries are made that rewrite what was previously known about this fascinating plant. Part of our mission is to stay on top of these developments, ensuring that the information we provide is up to date. To provide relevant data, we strive to update our library constantly. Therefore, we are always looking for new additions to it. If you have recently written or published a book related to cannabis, we would love to hear from you. All donated books will receive a review on our website!
Finally, why not have your event at the Cannabis College? We have previously hosted John Sinclair’s Radio Free Amsterdam radio show, and the Dutch cannabis group VOC (Stichting Verbond voor Opheffing van het Cannabisverbod) regularly holds meetings here. We remain available as a venue rental space for meetings, press conferences, product launches, and similar occasions. Do get in touch about any potential events you would like to use our space for!
The Cannabis Basics course costs €10 per person, which includes a diploma, a garden visit, and a cup of hemp tea,
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