The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam – About, History, & Past Exhibitions

Three people leaning in to look at two small cannabis plants in a glass jar

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum was founded in 1985, and to this day, remains one of Amsterdam’s most iconic cannabis destinations. Featuring items from a collection of over 9000 cannabis-related artefacts, and a display of living plants, the museum is an unmissable cannabis experience. In 2012 a second venue in Barcelona, Spain, was opened.

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum is the oldest and the most important museum in the world dedicated to Cannabis sativa L., the plant that provides us with psychoactive cannabis flowers (often called ‘marijuana’ or ‘marihuana’) as well as the industrial hemp varieties used for construction, textiles, nutrition, and much more.

A man smiling on the other side of a museum display cabinet

The museum was founded in 1985. Directed by Ben Dronkers, Sensi Seeds founder, it contains a carefully curated selection of cannabis specimens and artefacts from the museum collection. Temporary exhibitions are regularly held alongside the permanent displays. Since opening, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum has welcomed over two million curious visitors, educating them about cannabis in the Netherlands and around the world.

In May 2012, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum expanded into Spain, opening a second museum premises in a Modernista palace in Barcelona. The two museums are a unique expression of cannabis culture in Europe, and remain high on the list of attractions in these two cannabis destinations.

Founded: 1985

Location: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, 1012 DV Amsterdam, the Netherlands


A man looking up at framed pictures on the wall inside the museum

About the collection

The collection of the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum consists of over 9000 cannabis-related artefacts. The collection aims to represent all aspects of human interaction with cannabis, from cultivation and consumption items to art and literature it has inspired. A primary focus is the way cannabis was used in traditional medicine, and how it is used in modern medicine.

The collection is comprised of both historical and modern items. The museum is curated in such a way that visitors take a journey through the history of hemp and cannabis, its medicinal applications, its spiritual traditions, the prohibition of cannabis, and the cultural uses of the plant. The museum has been divided into sections including cannabis and hash, hemp, medicine, and popular culture.

An unmissable part of the collection is unique to the Amsterdam museum – a display of living cannabis plants in various stages of growing and flowering.

A light blue moped on display with glass cabinets and framed pictures in the background

You can expect to see rare cannabis artefacts from the pre-prohibition era, beautiful botanical illustrations of cannabis, and archaic cannabis smoking apparatus. There are atmospheric photos of hash being produced all around the world, and rare Reefer Madness items from the fifties.

The collection represents the journey cannabis has made through human history, making it an amazing cultural experience for visitors to Amsterdam.

Past exhibitions

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions. Visitors are able to enjoy content focused on specific themes, such as cannabis and music, for example. Here are some of the past exhibitions held at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum:

“We Are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis” Exhibition

The We Are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis Exhibition was held between September 8th and 23rd, 2018 at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum. As the name suggests, the exhibition explored the role of women in cannabis, from prehistoric times to now.

The exhibition featured artistic pipes from woman-owned company Stonedware, hemp clothing from Studio Jux, and the (now-discontinued) cannabis products from Whoopi & Maya,.

A woman with dreadlocks smiling on the phone as she walks through the museum

In cooperation with photographer Maria Cavali, the museum presented a series of photographs of cannabis-consuming women. It served as an ode to the women who love to use cannabis, and the overall diversity of Amsterdam cannabis culture. 

The Cannabis Cuisine Exhibition

To celebrate all things cannabis-and-food-related, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum held a Cannabis Cuisine Exhibition in December 2017. The exhibition celebrated the quantum leaps that have been made with respect to cannabis and food, especially hemp foods.

With cannabis as the main ingredient, the exhibition included cannabis recipes and cuisines from Asia, Europe and the Americas. Cannabis chefs, haute-cuisine aficionados, and lovers of cannabis foods attended the Cannabis Cuisine Exhibition to enjoy the delicious history of cannabis cuisine.

Posters for "We Are Mary Jane", "The Pope Smokes Dope" and "Cannabis Cuisine" exhibitions

The Pope Smokes Dope Exhibition

The Pope Smokes Dope Exhibition was first held in the Barcelona branch of the museum, and following its success, was also shown at the Amsterdam museum. It was held from June 3rd to September 3rd, 2017, and it celebrated the connection between cannabis, music, and album art.

The exhibition took its name from a music album by David Peel. It followed the journey of music and cannabis, especially in the 70s when John Lennon, Yoko Ono and John Sinclair were fighting for cannabis rights through their music. The exhibition also included stories of more recent cannabis advocates in music such as Rihanna, Groove Armada, and Missy Elliott.

The Pope Smokes Dope Exhibition celebrated cannabis’ connection to music and album art, from early jazz all the way to modern pop.

A wood-pannelled display cabinet in the corner of a room

Marijuana And Music — A Match Made in Heaven Lecture

On June 4th, 2016, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum hosted a lecture on the topic of ‘marijuana and music’. It also fell on the first night of the Red Light Jazz Festival that year. Publisher, media consultant and author Barend Toet delivered the lecture. He is known to be an expert in pop music, not least because he founded the influential Dutch music newspaper Oor in 1971.

Using various examples from twentieth century pop music, Toet explained how cannabis influenced the music and the lives of musicians who used the plant.

He spoke at length about the history of jazz and how modern music still shows traces of jazz. The  lecture included video clips with special audio recordings, personal reflections, and historical facts and information about musicians such as Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden, Cab Calloway, Larry Adler, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix.

The entrance to the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum

Visit and get involved

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum is located at Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, 1012 DV Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Have you visited the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum? We would love to hear about your experience in the comments.


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    Sensi Seeds

    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
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