Cannabis Liberation Day: Looking Back on 10 Years of This Ground-breaking Event

A crowd listening to speakers on a stage

Cannabis Liberation Day in Amsterdam, Netherlands, was a huge event, featuring industry speakers (such as Sensi Seeds), market stalls, and music performances. The festival started in 2009, and its final year was in 2018. The festival’s management team are now focusing their efforts on running campaigns to push the legalisation of cannabis in the country.

Where? Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When? May /June each year (2018 was the final year)

First started: 2009

Type of event – Festival

Awards up for grabs – In the past, the festival has run the ‘Highlife’ Awards – Sensi Seeds came second in the ‘organically grown category’. In 2018, the event held its first ‘Cannabis Olympics”, with the first 500 participants winning medals!

Official website –

What was Cannabis Liberation Day like?

Cannabis Liberation Day (or ‘Cannabis Bevrijdingsdag’), which was held in Amsterdam, was one of Europe’s biggest cannabis events. It first started back in 2009 and continued running until 2018. Typically, visitors could attend ‘university’ talks, given by some of the world’s leading cannabis experts, and could listen to live music performances on the main stage. There was also a market, with stalls selling a range of cannabis- and hemp-based products.

A field full of people sat in small groups

How was Sensi Seeds involved?

Sensi Seeds has taken an active role in Cannabis Liberation Day for several years. During that time, we’ve spoken at the ‘Cannabis University’ and have been official sponsors for the event. We’ve also had stalls at past festivals, with seeds and other products on offer.

Practical information about Cannabis Liberation Day

  • Location – (since 2014) Flevopark, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Flevopark is easy to reach by bus, train or metro, which made it a great location for the festival.
  • Cost – Cannabis Liberation Day was free to enter, and the food and drink was reasonably priced.
  • Opening hours – In 2018, the event ran from 2pm to 10pm ( on 17th June).
  • Staying there – Many visitors combined a trip to Cannabis Liberation Day with an exploration of Amsterdam. Its convenient location meant it was accessible from many hotels in the city.  

Rules / Legalities

  • Family event – Unlike many other cannabis events, Cannabis Liberation Day was a family-friendly festival, and people of all ages were in attendance.
  • Dutch cannabis laws – Cannabis use has been decriminalised in private places or in registered cannabis clubs. It’s technically illegal to use it publicly, though Amsterdam has a policy of tolerance.

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

Past editions

Cannabis Liberation Day was The Netherlands’ biggest cannabis event, and one of the most notable in Europe. Here’s some insight into what happened in previous years.

What happened at Cannabis Liberation Day 2018?

  • Ed Rosenthal, the ‘guru of ganja’, was a key speaker at the event.
  • Sensi Seeds’ Ben Dronkers was a headline speaker at the ‘Cannabis University’.
  • Sensi Seeds also erected a marquee, with a smoking area, lounge, and small museum.
  • Some great bands performed throughout the day, such as Le Peuple de l’Herbe (who have been compared to Cypress Hill) and Amsterdam’s own Fanfare van de Eerste Liefdesnacht.
  • Here’s an after-movie, capturing the atmosphere of the final edition of Cannabis Liberation Day:

What happened at Cannabis Liberation Day 2017?

  • A wide range of experts spoke at this year’s event; including Cannabis News Network, Martin Barriuso, and Clark French.
  • Sensi Seeds’ Alan Dronkers was also there, talking about cannabis genetics.
  • Visitors enjoyed films about cannabis in Europe’s largest ‘ger’ (Mongolian nomadic tent).
  • You can listen to Alan Dronkers’ interview here:

What happened at Cannabis Liberation Day 2016?

  • Key speakers at the 2016 festival included Has Cornelissen and Noll Van Shaik.
  • Rick Simpson, one of the world’s biggest advocates for cannabis oil, was a key speaker. You can watch him speak here:
  • The UK-based band ‘Will and the People’ also performed at the event.
  • The festival honoured the 40th anniversary of the Dutch policy of tolerance, which was introduced by ex-Prime Minister Dries van Agt in 1976.
Two men performing on an outdoor stage to a large crowd
  • Concerns were also raised regarding the future of cannabis tolerance in the country.
  • Here’s an after-movie of the event:

What happened at Cannabis Liberation Day 2015?

  • Sensi Seeds was delighted to come second place in the Highlife Cups, in the organically grown category.
  • The Medical Cannabis Bike Tour (who rode 420 km in three days) completed their journey at the festival. They raised a record EUR 120,000 this year.

What happened at Cannabis Liberation Day 2014?

  • 2014 was the event’s first year at Flevopark, Amsterdam.
  • Sensi Seeds’ Super Skunk Automatic won first place in the autoflowering strains category (Highlife Cups).
  • Speakers included Doede de Jong, and Michel Degens from the Mambo Cannabis Social Club (Belgium).
  • Greg Shapiro from Comedy Central was also in attendance.

What happened at Cannabis Liberation Day 2013?

  • Ben Dronkers talked to attendees at the 2013 event. Here’s a video of his presentation:
Two men performing on an outdoor stage to a large crowd
  • Disclaimer:
    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis use differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.


2 thoughts on “Cannabis Liberation Day: Looking Back on 10 Years of This Ground-breaking Event”


    I am suffering from chronic arthritis of the knee. I am undergoing Cell Stem Treatment which prohibits the use of NSAID’s for pain. I am desperate to find something that will help decrease my pain on walking and standing. Where can I purchase SATIVEX? I live in Switzerlad but have easy access to France. Please help.

    1. Dear Joy,
      Currently Sativex is not yet available in France and should be released in 2015. Sativex is currently prescribed in the UK though only for specific ailments.
      I am aware of one association in switzerland which may be able to help you out: „Schweizer Arbeitsgruppe für Cannabinoide in der Medizin”

      I hope this helps!


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    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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