Cannabis Culture Awards Amsterdam: All About the Past Editions

Richard Branson receiving an award at the Cannabis Culture Awards

The Cannabis Culture Awards, held at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, celebrates key figures in the cannabis world – who fought to make a difference, either in terms of legalising the drug, or challenging the stigma surrounding it. The awards began in 2004, with previous winners including Richard Branson and Howard Marks.

Where? Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When? Last held 27th November 2014

First started: 2004

Type of event – Awards ceremony

Awards up for grabs – Cannabis Culture Award – recognising those who have fought to challenge ‘cannabis stigma’ and to get cannabis legalised.

Official website –

  • Location – The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum is located at Oudeziijds Achterburgwal 148, 1012 DV Amsterdam. This is in the heart of the city, with the nearest Metro station being Nieuwmarkt, which is just a short walk away.

The Cannabis Culture Awards are also sometimes held at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Barcelona, which is situated in Carrer Ample 35.

A sign for the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum

Rules / Legalities

  • Dutch cannabis laws – Amsterdam operates a ‘tolerance policy’ regarding cannabis use, though it is still technically illegal to use it recreationally.

Check out this comprehensive article about the Netherlands’ cannabis laws to find out more. 

Past editions

The Cannabis Culture Awards are one of the most notable cannabis awards ceremonies in Europe. Here’s some insight into what happened in previous years.

Three men looking at a poster on stage at The Cannabis Culture Awards

What happened at The Cannabis Culture Awards 2014?

  • Marc and Jodie Emery were this year’s winners. The Canadian couple have dedicated their lives to campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis, even in the face of adversity:
  • Howard Marks was also a 2014 winner. Howard Marks (1945 – 2016), who is most famous for his bestselling autobiography, Mr Nice, has been instrumental in changing public opinion about cannabis around the world.
  • The awards were presented by Michael Schaap, who is famous for the VPRO television series, De Hokjesman.
  • Here’s a video, showing the highlights from the event:
Two men in suits receiving an award at The Cannabis Culture Awards

What happened at The Cannabis Culture Awards 2013?

  • This year’s award was given to Spuiten & Slikken (‘Shooting and Swallowing’). Despite being called a ‘risky and undesirable experiment’ by the Minister for Justice, the television programme opened people’s eyes to the effects of drugs, and started important conversations.
  • Frits Bolkestein, a prominent liberal Dutch politician, was also given an award. Over the years, he’s been an outspoken advocate for drug trade regulation, and has always adopted a thoughtful approach to the debate around drugs.
  • If you’d like to see what the event was like, watch this video:
  • Here’s Thorvald Stoltenberg’s speech at the event:
A group of people posing for a photo at The Cannabis Culture Awards

What happened at The Cannabis Culture Awards 2012?

  • The 2012 awards were held in Barcelona and Amsterdam.
  • Sir Richard Branson won one of the awards (on behalf of the Global Commission on Drug Policy), along with Norway’s former Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg.
  • Other 2012 winners included Dr Frederick Polak, one of the Netherlands’ most respected psychiatrists in the field of drug use, and Dr Lester Grinspoon, the Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
  • You can watch footage of the Barcelona event (featuring Ben Dronkers, Richard Branson, Todd McCormick, Fernanda de la Figuera, and Frederick Polak) here:
  • Here’s a video of Dr Frederick Polak speaking at the Amsterdam event:
A man holding a sign which says 'End the war on drugs'

What happened at The Cannabis Culture Awards 2009?

  • At the 2009 Cannabis Culture Awards, Dries van Agt, the former Prime Minister, was given an award. This was in recognition of his introduction of the ‘tolerance policy’, which paved the way for Amsterdam’s thriving coffeeshop culture.
  • Hans Georg-Behr (1937 – 2010) also won an award, for his prominent books examining the role of hemp and cannabis in society.
  • You can see Dries van Agt being given his award in this video:

What happened at The Cannabis Culture Awards 2008?

  • In 2008, the Cannabis Culture Award was given to Simon Vinkenoog (1928 – 2009). The famous Dutch writer, poet and artist was also a lifelong advocate of cannabis, and was in favour of its legalisation.
  • Here’s a video, showing ‘Groene Sint and Wietpiet’ arriving at the event:

Who were the winners in previous editions?

Here are the winners from previous editions of the Cannabis Culture Awards:

  • 2007: Ed Rosenthal. Ed Rosenthal is an internationally respected advocate for the acceptance of medical cannabis. It’s for that reason that Sensi Seeds has named a strain after him.
  • 2006: Jack Herer (1939 – 2010). A groundbreaking researcher and author, Jack Herer was a tireless campaigner for the legalisation of cannabis. It’s for that reason that Sensi Seeds has named a strain after him.
  • 2005: Eagle Bill Amato (1942 – 2005). Eagle Bill Amato is a true pioneer in the field of cannabis vaporisation. It’s for that reason that Sensi Seeds has named a strain after him, too.
  • Henk de Vries. Henk de Vries played an integral role in shaping the Dutch tolerance policy, and is the founder of The Bulldog, one of Amsterdam’s most famous coffeeshops.


10 thoughts on “Cannabis Culture Awards Amsterdam: All About the Past Editions”

  1. charlie mackey

    I’m happy to know these events are happening! Does anyone know if there is a similar event for CBD awards?

  2. Hi Sylent jay Thank you for your Great information and Share with us. i think this post is very helpful for about Cannabis culture.

  3. mabuku bonface

    very interesting, need to study this natural plant,why its restricted but oftenly used in govt secret camps.

  4. Billy Carroll

    Dear Sir’s found your article very well written as well as informative. Just had to note that the American activist known as the The Black Tuna which also’s the name of his book that spent 30 Yrs in jail hasn’t been named .Mr Robert Platshorn who’s Herculean work for the Legalization of M J for medical purpose’s is known for his tireless efforts as well as the sacrifice of freedom to travel after doing his 30 yrs. Please Sir’s do take note. Sincerely Billy Carroll

  5. Why does Marks get an award? I contrast to the Emerys he did not spend his wealth on the legalization of Cannabis!

  6. Sensi Seeds

    For those who would like to know more about the Hemp Museum Gallery, a very interesting article on the newly opened museum in Barcelona can be found here:…

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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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