What started out as a hobby grew into work. Pre-Rolling Joints for Celebs & Coffeeshops, Clipping or building, we we're pulling jobs left and right. Anyone needed their room setup? We we're there.. The cops we're coming by tomorrow and the room needed to be empty within 12hrs? We we're there.. After working our way up slowly in 'Cannabis World' we launched our website and made some crew shirts. Everybody was so excited about the logo and shirts we decided to have a bunch printed and giving them out to Fam. Read about how that went below!
The Self-Hemployed website was one of the few in it's time with a great Weed and Hash gallery, Cultivation Tips, Games, Interviews and more. But a website... That takes time... And over the years we have re-styled, been offline/online, rebuilding and uploading our ass off.
Our first appearance was on the 13th Cannabis Cup in 2000 (then still in Pax Party House) when we entered the 'Original Monkey Man Wicked Stick' through our friends at Chills & Thrills. The Wicked Stick was available at the booth and of course we we're walking around introducing the crowd to this crazy magnificent fantastic epic rolling invention. With 18 votes, unfortunately no cigars, but... no sweat. We got it out there for those who need a simple and cheap rolling device. We are proud to say they are actually still around in a few shops in Amsterdam.
In 2001 we got our Self-Hemployed logo design done by a good friend and made our first t-shirts. During the 14th Cannabis Cup we entered the 'Self-Hemployed t-shirt'. This time through our boys John & Steve at Grey Area. Thanks Chiefs!!! Unfortunately we have no voting results on this.. But we are still digging through the Cannabis Cup Winners. Imagine that... Can't even find it there... So! If someone does, please let us know..
We also had the pleasure of clipping/proofing the Barney's winning 'Sweet Tooth' for the cup. This was definitely the smallest space we've clipped in though... And a rush job of course. But "Who you gon call?" Big up to 'Crazy Man'!
The 15th Cannabis Cup was a ball... The very last cup in the Pax Party House. Self-Hemployed was represented on many booths like, Sagarmatha, Grey Area, Chills & Thrills & of course at the 'Wolke Wietje' booth... For who remembers, on the top floor at Pax (the pool and the babes). If you don't remember, check the Gallery! Self-Hemployed had a big hand in building the stand and doing promotion. Of course we had our own t-shirts and the Wolke Wietje coffeeshop just had a cool new logo and t-shirts made too. Lot's of smoke, Water, Bikini Babes and... Hot... Pax! It was SO HOT!
Over the last years our crew had also been working on repairing a beautiful steel life Life-Boat. Later to be known as the 'Daytripper'. And on the 16th Cannabis Cup 2003 we presented the 'Daytripper' in cooperation with The Sensi Seed Bank making trips going from the Cup Expo/Melkweg to the Sensi Museum Coffeeshop. Regardless of some unexpected technical difficulties it was a success and over 350 stoners were happy to take a cruise into town and back. Big up to the Monkey, Willy 'Knuckles' White and Biff.
2004 was a very busy year for us. We just moved into a new office/storefront in what is now called the 'Hempshopper' stores and we launched a bunch of new websites broadening our web presence. A huge source of new and unique Cannabis information on the internet that was not even available for the most search engine savvi stoners. Within a matter of months we launched Medicinal-Marihuana.com*, FriendsOfCannabis.com*, WeedDealer.com*, CannabisCupWinners.com*, SearchForSeeds.com*, CannabisTalk.com* and CoffeeshopsAmsterdam.com*.
During the 17th Cannabis Cup 2004. Self-Hemployed once again does boat trips from the city to the expo and back. It was truely freezing cold, but yet again many of the visitors were more than happy to take the 'Daytripper' into town. HempTV came on board, Orin Bolton (your too funny), Shiva’s Glass Po Daddy, the Gaskin Family, Danny Danko, Ravi from Sensi Seeds, Luc from Paradise Seeds, Sidney from Ceres Seeds, Captain Joint, Uncle Stoner, High Times Crew and many other happy Cannabis Cup stoners. It was a good boat year!
Early 2005 we received an email from the New York based creative/production company Decon Media about the shooting of a new DVD/Music Video for Altanta 'Dirty South' rapper Ludacris. We reached out to our contacts to arrange props and various locations, including a professional grow room and online adult Webcam House to visit. Leading to an EPIC experience called 'The Red Light District DVD'.
Finally there is some REAL WEED in a Hip Hop video!
This was also the year we started working together with the legendary John Sinclair. Having met the chief several years before in his favorite hang-out '420 cafe' we got caught up talking one night at the Sensi Seeds Museum Coffeeshop in the Red Light District. He needed help with his website which was brought down (seemingly on purpose) multiple times and just started his new radio station 'Radio Free Amsterdam'.
We rebuild and restyled the JohnSinclair.us website and restored most of the posts/content. This literally took months because we we're doing it for the heart and there was an enormous amount of data corrupted. Meanwhile assisting the birth of the Radio Free Amsterdam website.
After a 'High' and turbulent year in 2005 Self-Hemployed & Ceres Seeds organize the 'Grass-A-Matazz'. An official 18th Cannabis Cup Judges Party! Self-Hemployed also entered yet another unique product. This time, something never done before. A WEBSITE! Online for a little over a year at that time, FriendsOfCannabis.com (as seen in Pot Culture)* had already pulled many visitors with it's remarkable news flashes on Celebrities, VIP's and Historical figures. during all the 'Cup Stress' and planning for the party we had 150 hemp t-shirts printed with a unique spinoff on the Time issue 'The Colombian Connection' however reading CANNBIS instead of CANNABIS. We also never saw the votes/tallies this time but it was another fun year. * Later copied by Steve Bloom of High Times called CelebStoner.com
"Up & Up" as Superdude would say! In 2006 we still kicking a lot of ass. Due to renovations we are forced to move office/shop and set up the first Hempshopper on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. The idea was to get all seed banks and people we know to sell their genetics with us and create the largest stock of different seed companies. You could buy all your favorite Cannabis strains in one place.
Meanwhile we we're also working very hard setting up John Sinclair with the means to make live radio for Radio Free Amsterdam. Keeping the #RFA site and completely restyling John's personal website. Updating constantly and pushing the broadcasts onto the interweb through our platforms. From live streams to pre-recorded sessions and gigs.
The 19th Cannabis Cup 2006. Self-Hemployed & Ceres Seeds hold the 2nd 'Grass-A-Matazz' official Cannabis Cup Judges Party. With Self-Hemployed doing the website and (online)promotion for the Ceres Seeds entry 'Fruity Thai' we managed to score the second place in the Indica Cup. The party at the Aknathon was opened by our friend the legendary activist & poet John Sinclair. There were some great live performances by by Eileen Spain, Super Dude, John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema. DJ’s and of course the 'Cannabis College Raffle'.
Another 'FIRST' at the 2006 Cannabis Cup was the 'Self-Hemployed Logo Wall' where Special Guests get their picture taken!
In 2007 a lot in the Amsterdam Cannabis/Coffee shop industry was changing. Drinking alcohol was banned from Coffeeshops, the (tobacco) Smoking ban was in the pipeline and the debate over closing coffeeshops around schools fired up. We found it was time to start informing people better than the mainstream media and 'grape vine stories'.
During the summer we started working on our new project. The 'Free Amsterdam' newspaper. A free (paid by advertising) newspaper packed with facts about Hemp, Cannabis, Amsterdam and the Coffeeshop industry. The first 15.000 copies of the pilot were distributed just before, and during the 20th High Times Cannabis Cup. [insert coming...]
Self-Hemployed & Ceres Seeds also hold the 'Grass-A-Matazz' Judges Party for the third time in a row! Yes! The 20th Cannabis Cup 2007! Bigger, better and harder. Of course our good friend and legend John Sinclair will host the party again. Along with a very exciting and entertaining program. Special guests like Heidi Happy, Aceyalone, Superdude, DJP and 'DJ DuTHC' were on the program at the Sugar Factory. But due to organization/logistical problems the party was unfortunately canceled. We did have the Dutch premiere of John Sinclair’s movie '20 to life' in the Melkweg movie theatre.
So now... It's 2008 and all of the sudden we are publishing a quarterly newspaper! The 'Free Amsterdam'. No less than 20.000 copies of the second (Queensday Special) issue drop during spring 2008 and get distributed through-out the city. From lunch-restaurants to Theatres and Coffee Shops, the paper is all over the place and not popular with tourist but also locals are picking the newpaper up for insteresting reads about Amsterdam historical facts, the Cannabis industry and Hemp facts.
Another cool thing that happened that year was the creation of the John Sinclair Seeds brand. After smoking 2.500.000 weed strains for about 100 years we figured John would enjoy having a selection of strains he could enjoy an more importantly have others enjoy just as much! Especially since a known Coffeeshop/Seedbank had already decided to use his name for a strain and not give him credits or love for it. A selection of four basic strains was made and we created packaging based on the already existing El Clandestino seed packaging. An Indica, Sativa, Skunk and Indica x Sativa cross.
Late 2008/ Early 2009 Self-Hemployed together with Hempshopper Amsterdam bought the remains of hemp food company Hemperium (which has it's production line in Germany with Hanf-Zeit). The company behind the first Original Cannabis Lollipops. YES, the green lollipop you see everybody giggling about, walking around Amsterdam. Kriss, owner at that time, had ran the company by himself since 1996 and had made a well established name in the Cannabis/Hemp Food market. However the increasing competition and copy cats got the best of him.
We did not feel Hemperium could go down like that, being a multiple Cannabis Cup Winner and a household name in the industry. In collaboration with Hempshopper we also had a very close contact with the customer and could look at feedback and general sales. So we started with giving the company and products a face lift. Then picked up our distribution and whole sale. Eventually started working on producing new products and expanding distribution to other EU countries.
In the Netherlands we have been at the root of reintroducing products like Hemp seed oil and CBD tea to the dutch market. Starting with selling our products in health food stores, restaurants and pharmacies. Unfortunately Albert Heijn was not ready for Hemp yet in that time.
And well... It's already 2017! And a lot has happened since 2009! So more coming soon..
[Last updated 09-10-2017]