In 1997, philanthropic Dutchman Henk Poncin and his fellow members of the Green Prisoners Release cannabis campaign group decided to do their community a service. Henk provided the premises to create a public information centre devoted to all the beneficial aspects of the beautiful Cannabis sativa L. plant. In 1998, the new information centre and its flourishing organic cannabis garden opened in a monument-status 17th-century canal house in the heart of Amsterdam.
The projected opening date was January 1998; however, the city government refused to issue a sales permit. The group’s initial investment had been consumed by the renovation of the building. However, they continued undaunted, now faced with the challenge of recovering funds without being able to sell the large range of merchandise they had planned to. Despite all the ordeals the original goal remained: to provide information and encourage cannabis activism.
A generous sponsor
Finally, there was a ray of hope. Eddy Reedeker, one of the Netherlands’ foremost cannabis seed breeders, became the main sponsor via his company The Flying Dutchmen. As an organic breeder and ethical man, Eddy felt a certain responsibility to the industry, stating, “I earned my money for 35 years [through] working with this plant; this is something I have to do in return.”
The dedication of Henk Poncin, the Green Prisoners Release, Eddy, and an enthusiastic group of young volunteers, combined to form the Cannabis College Amsterdam – a professional information centre with free admission. In 2009, Eddie decided to retire. The Cannabis College patronage was taken over by his dear friend and fellow Dutch philanthropist, Ben Dronkers, founder of the world’s largest and oldest seedbank, Sensi Seeds.
The Amsterdam Cannabis College continues to dedicate its efforts towards educating others about the Cannabis plant. We believe that education is the key to change. By continuously updating our resources and developing online courses and live sessions, we enable those unable to visit our physical location to join the learning experience.