CannabisThe newly-formed Dutch cabinet plans to start trials with legal weed farming. The weed will be cultivated locally and then spread in six to ten municipalities. Which municipalities will receive the so-called government weed is not yet clear.

There are some 25 to 30 municipalities spread throughout the Netherlands that have interest in the program or have signed up.
Currently, cannabis can be legally sold in Dutch coffee shops, however growing cannabis (more than 5 plans, under artificial light) is prohibited. The new coalition wants to change that.
The Amsterdam City Council has indicated several times to be in favor of regulated weed farming. There was even a short search for a location where the weed could be grown.

Most of Amsterdam's coffee shops are pleased with the plans of the new government to experiment with legal weed cultivation. The coffee shops hope they can participate in and consult over the cultivation, given the complexities of the differences in Cannabis strains.

But while the government may face difficulties understanding the intricacy of Cannabis, life for the coffeeshop owner stands to become easier. Better quality control for example. With illegal growing operations, it's obviously more difficult to keep total control over the environment and quality as a Cannabis cultivator. This can now be done throughout the growing process instead of being checked at the point of sale.

Joachim Helms, Chairman of the Bond of Cannabis Attorneys, explains it will be the same as running a biscuit factory, where the biscuits are checked at the factory instead of in the store."
And so, the Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten (Union of Cannabis Retailers), the BCD, is pleased with the intention of the new government to experiment with weed cultivation. Helms: "It is something that has been talked about for years and that we are in favor of. It makes everything a lot more transparent. "
However, the BCD hopes that the government doesn't forget where the knowledge and experience lies. "Not only with the coffee shops, but also the lamp manufacturers and growroom builders. They must all be involved in making a good product. '
Variety of products is also important for coffee shops. Therefore, its ideal to have a scenario in which the weed trade is similar to for example beer; legal, regulated and controlled, with pilsener for the mass, and special craft beers for the connoisseur.

Unity Cup AmsterdamHold 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 19-22 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 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?

[UPDATED 06-11-2017: PT Dante]
Earlier this week the rumours were confirmed and broadcasted throughout various social media channels. High Times is coming to town! Which swiftly turned into High Times pretty much took over. The only reference to the Unity Cup is a small logo on their website. Judges passes sold for 200,-EU and day passes for a staggering 50,-EU.

One could wonder who would be crazy enough to be like Bush and try the "Fool me once..." quote. But the fact is, companies that did not participate in the Unity Cup over the last years might now jump on the High Times wagon again. Scrambling to get a 'cup entry' together in time.
And this could suck for the quality of the entries, because it means you're not getting the best of the best. The strains and varieties that companies have been proudly working on and dying to show you.

See ya'll around November!

[UPDATED 30-11-2017: PT Dante]

Amsterdam Cannabis (Unity) Cup Winners 2017

Coffeeshop Marijuana
1st - Original Dampkring for Blackberry Bliss
2nd - Grey Area for White Fire No.6
3rd - Voyagers for Sunset Sherbet

Coffeeshop Neder-Hash
1st - Grey Area for SB Ice
2nd - Original Dampkring for Red Ice
3rd - Green Place for Cookies & Cream Iceolator

Coffeeshop Import Hash
1st - Bagheera for Mango Haze
2nd - Original Dampkring for Asli
3rd - Green Place for Don Perignon

Seed Company Marijuana
1st - DNA Genetics for S1
2nd - Lady Sativa Genetics for Orange Diesel V3
3rd - Phenofinders for Sunset Sherbert

Seed Company Hash
1st - Devils Harvest for Devils Glue
2nd - Crockett Family Farms for The Juice
3rd - Soma 'Sacred' Seeds for SO-G Kush Water Hash

Self-Hemployed Social Stream