On Thursday the 27th of November 2014, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Amsterdam and Sensi Seeds, organized their annual Cannabis Culture Awards where Marc & Jodie Emery and Howard – Mr. Nice – Marks received an award. Here is the report we received from Sensi Seeds so Cannabis News Network can share this very special moment in cannabis history.
Sensi Seeds was glad as usual to meet, again or for the first time, our friends, partners and colleagues, and of course, the multitude of cannabis enthusiasts who travelled to Amsterdam for the 2014 edition of the Cannabis Culture Awards, and the High Times Cannabis Cup. The Cannabis Cup Awards Ceremony which took place last night (Nov 27th, 2014) at the Melkweg, was a great conclusion to this eventful day! After giving Marc Emery, Jody Emery and Howard Marks their Cannabis Culture Awards at the beautiful Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum – decorated for the occasion – a cannabis-infused party was the only way to go.
The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum goes festive
The Red Light District of Amsterdam was the place to be yesterday, November 27th 2014, from early in the afternoon, when the Sensi Seeds staff and the museum team opened the doors of the Hemp Gallery.
Indeed, a couple of hours before all the guests arrived, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, as well as its annex, the Hemp Gallery, woke up the entire neighbourhood to the sound of a barrel organ playing an eclectic selection of famous tunes, from end-of-year celebration songs to pop-culture anthems. Progressively, the entrances filled up with an interesting crowd; enthusiasts and passers-by drawn by the festive mood, but also entertainers who didn’t fail to surprise. There was even a happy bunch of “WeedPiets” hailing people in the streets and taking pictures with them, a bold, green twist to the Dutch end-of-year tradition of SinterKlaas, and Zwarte Piet.
Finally, Marc and Jodie Emery were spotted by the excited attendees near the canal, and made their way to the museum, accompanied by a delighted Ben Dronkers. The crowd was ecstatic to see the guests arriving, and spent some time mingling, and enjoying light refreshments while the last technical checks were being made.
Food for the soul, belly-dancing for the mood
The ceremony kicked off with an opening speech from Dutch television’s Michael Schaap, who was invited for the occasion to fill the role of host and narrator. He proceeded to introduce the V.I.P. panel, which consisted of Ben Dronkers, Alan Dronkers, Shiva Spaarenberg, Todd McCormick, and of course, Marc and Jodie Emery. At this point of the night, the audience had one eye on the panel, and the other on the door, as Howard Marks (a.k.a. Mr. Nice), was due to arrive later, due to travel-related issues.
Luckily, in the meantime, the panel had a lot to talk about, between local cannabis policies and international ones, as well as the events of the week, namely the relatively hectic Cannabis Cup storyline. Many representatives from High Times were present at the awards, and one was even invited to the stage to provide some insight on the situation.
Cannabis Culture Awards 2014: the ceremony
The discussion then followed its course, and tackled many current issues of the world of cannabis activism, until it was finally time to present the Emerys with their award. A film presentation honouring their achievements and dedication to the cannabis cause was shown, sparking even more enthusiasm and emotion in the crowd, and more lively discussion afterwards.
The award was then handed to the delighted and delightful pair by Todd McCormick, accompanied by the WeedPiets, making the moment a quite unique event, suffused with the solidarity and unity one would expect from such a ceremony, and also by Dutch culture. Especially in the light of the latest events in Dutch cannabis politics, and with the very recent example of the Cannabis Cup being shut down by the mayor of Amsterdam, the symbolism of it all was both strong and meaningful.
The Emerys then addressed the crowd in a short but inspiring speech, before all cannabis activists present indulged in a well-deserved break.
A fairly long Q&A session followed, as everybody was eager to get a quote from the winners. Activists, press, and High Times representatives alike took advantage of these last moments to speak further with them, and once every question was answered, everyone moved around to make way for the belly-dancing show, a beloved Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum tradition firmly enforced by Sensi Seeds’ founder Ben Dronkers.
Eventually, and appropriately, as the crowd was still ebullient and star-struck from the unique moments spent with Marc and Jodie Emery, Howard Marks made his entrance, to the general glee of everyone around. Once properly settled in, he spent some time interacting with the crowd, more in individual conversations than by giving a speech. Regardless, with his incredible charisma and the weight of his past accomplishments, his sole presence was enough to electrify the room and further fan the flame of the party.
Ben Dronkers, who has been friends with the man people call “Mr. Nice” for decades, welcomed him with open arms, and professed his love and admiration for this important figure of an even more important cause with the verve he has been long known for. He also gave his friend a gift, in addition to his award; a beautiful portrait of Howard Marks made by British artist and DJ Goldie, which will soon be part of the Amsterdam Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum’s collection.
After a few drinks, the crowd parted, most of it meeting again later at the Melkweg for the Cannabis Cup Awards Ceremony, where Marc Emery received another award for his work, and could finally unwind for the day.
Sensi Seeds and the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum are honoured to have hosted this tremendously significant event, and to have welcomed so many members of the cannabis world; activists, writers, growers, scientists, journalists, and each one of you. See you next year for another chapter of cannabis history.