BY CHRIS FISHER
After a time, so much weed goes through your hands that it can start to become just another commodity. It is easy to get in a rut, and it is easy to forget how much you love this plant when you find yourself cranking it out daily at work. Visiting the city of Amsterdam can provide a memorable and immersive learning experience that can provoke imagination, introduce unknown subject matter, and offer unique environments that may never be seen stateside. A journey to Amsterdam will provide a budtender the opportunity to be exposed to new experiences and explore new things. This unique exposure can provide the foundation for creativity as well as critical thinking in the workplace. I have been twice and I am already thinking ahead to my next trip.
The 1960’s brought a heady lifestyle into this city and it has remained ever since. Amsterdam has been a place where weed smokers can go and openly discuss and use cannabis without fear of imprisonment. The city is a modern-day salon for cannabis revolutionaries and it has played an integral role in the cultural and intellectual development of cannabis for us here in the west. It is a cultural hub for spreading ideas. You will find that most influences for western cannabis culture began in Amsterdam. The city combines a mixture of the contemporary and the historical. The entire place can be enjoyed on foot, so sampling the different coffee shops is safe and easy.
The cannabis capital has restaurants that allow you to sit down with a cup of coffee and smoke a joint. Although we have legal cannabis on both coasts there is not anywhere to socially smoke or consume cannabis like you can in Amsterdam. Weed is not social here, although I do believe that is the next stage in our evolution. I mean, you can order breakfast and weed off the same menu in Amsterdam. The concerns that lawmakers have for the public is cranked up to eleven here in the states and as a result, it can take some of the fun out of it. Packaging and restrictions are such that you must take your products to a small dark room with no windows and get high alone. Not in Amsterdam!
Nowadays we go out to dispensaries and purchase cannabis strains most Americans never heard of twenty years ago which is wonderful, but cannabis capital has the classics. I was a child of the 90’s so when I think of weed strains I think of White Widow, White Russian, Northern Lights, Blueberry, Acapulco Gold, Haze #1, and Matanuska Thunderfuck just to name a few. You just cannot find these strains in the states right now, everyone wants the new stuff. Visiting Amsterdam is like going back in time, similar to what it must be like for a car aficionado when visiting Cuba. You are seeing history alive and breathing right in front of you. For a budtender, knowledge is the best thing you could ask for, and it is not like there is a graduate school for cannabis.
Amsterdam is not only the cannabis capital, but a state of mind, it is a place where you can lose yourself and find yourself. It is a place where you will assert focus, and regain consciousness, like a pilgrim making a journey to the homeland. It is a city where millions of people set aside differences of race, economic status, and nationality to get a little high. Visiting Amsterdam will open your eyes to different ideas and perspectives that are not relevant in the United States. The cannabis culture in America still treats marijuana like it is illegal, they do not do that in Amsterdam, it is just another thing. A trip to the Dutch capital will help develop awareness for our industry and your job. Go to Amsterdam, smoke a joint in the park then again at a restaurant, go to the Heineken museum, stop in a smart shop, walk through the red-light district, try Amstel beer, and have dinner at ten o’clock because the sun stays out late. Man, I love Amsterdam and I cannot wait to go back. So, when are you going?
Cannabis products are designed for adults 21 and older. Please consume responsibly.