Discover Benelux | Alternative Amsterdam | Cultural attractions of the month
Home of the cannabis plant TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK | PHOTOS: HASH MARIHUANA & HEMP MUSEUM
It is well known that Amsterdam has an unmistakable link with marihuana and hemp. It is therefore no wonder that the world’s first Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum has opened its doors in the Dutch capital. This remarkable museum offers visitors an extensive tour through the cultural, historic, and scientific aspects of the world’s bestknown plant. “A lot of people have a lot of opinions on cannabis, while actually missing some basic knowledge about the plant,” explains Gerbrand Korevaar, curator at the museum. “We aim to improve understanding about this exceptional plant by delving into its past, present and future.” The museum displays the private collection of its founder Ben Dronkers, who also owns Sensi Seeds and HempFlax. Having always been fascinated by cannabis and hemp, he founded the museum in 1985 to show the plant’s rich history and versatile use in medicine, clothing, agriculture, and more.
Visitors can endlessly gawk at fascinating displays on the history of cannabis use, find out why the plant was prohibited, or be amazed by contemporary items made from industrial hemp. Magnificent are the Old Master paintings, displaying the smoking of cannabis in the Dutch Golden Age. Do not miss the 19thcentury medicinal cannabis bottles – and learn that cannabis was the second most-used ingredient for medication back then. The museum is also located in Barcelona. This site opened in 2012 in the presence of entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. “Besides the fact that Barcelona is a hospitable city, its attitude towards cannabis is also very tolerant,” Korevaar enthuses. It is also from that point of view the museum awards the Cannabis Culture Awards. “With the awards, we are striving for the acceptance and better understanding of cannabis and hemp – exactly what the museum does as well.”
TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK | PHOTOS: HEMPSTORY
Before entering, leave all expectations of a store filled with cannabis gadgets behind. Hempstory tells a different story. The cosy store is filled with clothes, food, soft home furnishings, travel goods, skin care products, prints, and accessories – with hemp being the main, or sometimes only, ingredient. “The hemp plant is a member of the cannabis family, yet does not contain THC [Tetrahydrocannabinol], the recreative substance of its sister,” co-owner Linda Lindquist starts. “Hemp is an incredibly useful and powerful plant. Its 68 | Issue 37 | January 2017
stem contains fibres that can be made into textiles and paper. Hemp seeds contain oil with a unique balance of omega three and six and are protein rich, making them perfect for food. Hemp oil is also a valuable ingredient for skin care products.” Hempstory opened in February 2015 in Amsterdam’s inner city. New customers and regulars are amazed at every visit with new and interesting products adorning the shelves. Think
A Quiet Smoke.
The story of a forgotten plant The name says it all: Hempstory in Amsterdam is dedicated to this versatile and almost forgotten plant. Offering a broad selection of quality products, all connected in their own way to industrial hemp, this shop is one of a kind. They also serve great coffee, hemp leaf tea, healthy hemp protein shakes, and spiced hemp milk drinks.
Cannabis medicine bottles.
Fairtrade clothing from Studio JUX, high-quality sustainable outerwear from HoodLamb, beauty products, Hempstory’s own tea blends, and more. Magnificent (and the ideal gift) are the Original Botanical Prints: vintage botanical illustrations printed on authentic hemp paper. Thirsty from exploring? Relax and give your new perception of the cannabis plant time to sink in while enjoying a coffee or a hemp-based delicacy in Hempstory’s mini-café. One of the coolest places and a must-see on Amsterdam’s canals! www.hempstory.nl
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