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Hold up... What?!
Those familiar with the previous High Times Cannabis Cup events in Amsterdam know that the festival has been going on for years. As a matter of fact they held the Cannabis Cup for 27 years until 2014. With many of the known seed companies and coffeeshops in Amsterdam competing for the best Marijuna, Hashish and Cannabis seeds.
But then once reputable company started to slip. Stories went around about bribes, venues and businesses involved were never paid and it became increasingly harder for High Times to get either an appropriate venue or licenses to organise the festival.
One specific example took place during the 2003 Cannabis Cup, where the tour organizer 420 Tours' 'Money Mike' ran off with a bag full of money and was never to be seen again.
The year after in April 2004, Self-Hemployed met up with Steven Hagar to talk about a possible Cannabis Cup, that year in November.
However, they could not get back into the Melkweg, and many of the sponsors from last year were left disgruntled or angry with the organisation. The chances were not looking good.
"Heard HT is putting on the cup in Amsterdam this year Nov 18-22 Nothing like giving everyone a heads up?"
Since then the organizers have been hopping from venue to venue almost every year, burning their bridges, contacts and with that spoiling their own chance of stabilising the festival/ putting it back on the map once and for all. Resorting to the very last Cannabis Cup in 2014.
Various initiatives have sprouted for alternative festivals, of which one being the quite successful Amsterdam Unity Cup. Held for the third time this year from November 19th till 22nd. Check the Facebook page or www.amsterdam-unity-cup.com for more information.
Supposedly High Times is thinking to have a 30th anniversary.
So, is this the 1st of April? Or does the Amsterdam Cannabis industry have Amnesia?
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After a more than a decade the Nieuw-West district and the City Council gave a 'green light' for the arrival of a new Coffeeshop near Sloterdijk Station.
According to district manager Achmed Baâdoud, it has to be a drive-through coffeeshop. Where you can, while in you car (like a fast food restaurant) order and pick-up your Cannabis or Hashish.
Although initially the local business ‘union’ of the Western harbour area in Amsterdam was not pleased with the possible arrival of a drive-through coffeeshop from The Bulldog and appealed to the plans with the municipality. It might actually finally happen!
The Bulldog wants to open a coffee shop and a café with a large terrace. The move is part of Pilot Coffeeshops, where the municipality tries to move coffeeshops from the center of the city. In exchange for the coffeeshop in the Western harbour area, The Bulldog would close their branch in Spuistraat.
But the entrepreneurs in the Western harbour area were not happy about the arrival of the coffeeshop. With plenty of parking, The Bulldog in the port would be especially focused on customers picking up weed, according to the request. But the coffeeshop would also make it possible to consume Cannabis on the spot. The local businesses were not in favour of this and had informed the municipality that they disagree with this idea.
An other reason for their earlier struggle opening a coffeeshop in West had to do with the fact that the location was too close to surrounding schools. To which Baâdoud had serious objections. But that does not apply to the location near Sloterdijk Station. "There are no schools and residents affected by the arrival," said the councilman.
The location is quite a bit further away. However also closer to the high-way, so easier to reach. And in a more business like/industrial area. So traffic and local disturbance complaints will stay at a minimum.