In 1997, philanthropic Dutchman Henk Poncin and a few members of a group known as the “Green Prisoners Release”, who had been campaigning for the freedom to cultivate cannabis, decided to do their community a service. Together they created a public information centre devoted to all the beneficial aspects of the beautiful Cannabis sativa L. plant. After a year of hard work and renovation, the new information centre and its flourishing organic cannabis garden were housed in a monument-status canal house in the heart of Amsterdam.
The projected opening date was to be in 1998; however, the city government refused the creators a sales permit. Despite the fact that the group’s initial investment had been consumed by the renovation of the building, 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 donator
Finally, there was a ray of hope. Eddie, one of the main seed breeders in Holland, was brought in as a partner. As an honest and organic breeder Eddie 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, Eddie 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 and the patronage was taken over by his dear friend and Dutch philanthropist, Ben Dronkers, founder of the world’s largest 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 and will broaden our reach by continuously updating and developing online courses and live sessions to allow those unable to visit our physical location to join.