Hanfparade: The Berlin Cannabis Parade

Crowd of people during the cannabis parade Hanfparade in Berlin

The Hanfparade is Germany’s largest pro-legalisation demonstration in Germany. It is an annual event that helps raise awareness about the beneficial properties of cannabis and the need for reform. Hundreds of cannabis activists unite to parade through the centre of Berlin, protesting for legalisation, and support is increasing.

  • Where? Berlin, Germany
  • When? To be confirmed
  • First started: 1997
  • Type of event – Cannabis demonstration
  • Visitor count – Approximately 8,000
  • Official websitehttps://www.hanfparade.de
Hanfparade promo poster with white dove holding a cannabis leaf in beak

What to expect from the Hanfparade 2024?

More than 8,000 guests are expected at the Hanfparade 2023, supported by parade floats decorated entirely in hemp attire. Public speakers, political representatives and leading authority figures delve into their views regarding cannabis legalisation and the many benefits of the cannabis plant. This year’s motto is “Cannabis is good for peace and the climate”.

Visitors can expect live performances and a range of seminars from the world’s leading experts in cannabis. An array of hemp-based products, such as cosmetics, food, textiles, and many others, will be displayed by a unique selection of exhibitors throughout the event. Paradegoers also look forward to a monumental closing speech that unites the cannabis community at the end of each demonstration.

Woman in white dress holding a speech during Hanfparade

What can you expect from Sensi Seeds at Hanfparade?

Sensi Seeds is again sponsoring the main stage at the centre of the Hanfparade! The program includes an exciting program of orators and live musicians from across the globe. Sensi Seeds staff members will be spread throughout the event, so if you need any help, we are always there to advise on anything cannabis related.

What is the purpose of Hanfparade?

The purpose of the Hanfparade is straightforward. It promotes awareness of the need for cannabis reform, whether it is for; industrial, medicinal, or recreational use. The parade aims to remove the negative prejudices and stigmatisations of cannabis in society.

1. Promote the benefits of industrial hemp

The Hanfparade highlights the benefits of industrial hemp and promotes its reintroduction into society. As a renowned carbon sequester, hemp has the potential to renourish scorched earth. Not only can farmers produce more than one harvest a year, but hemp is robust, durable and easy to grow. It is ideal for textiles, construction materials, food supplements, and more.

2. Access to high-grade medicinal cannabis

The German authorities have supported the use of medicinal cannabis since 2017. However, for many people using cannabis as relief, prices are unrealistic, with the average gram of cannabis ranging from 20 to 25 euros. Many demonstrators believe patients should have the right to access high-quality medicinal-grade cannabis or grow plants for their own personal use.

3. Recreational access to cannabis

While industrial hemp cultivation has been permitted since 1996, the cultivation of recreational cannabis remains illegal. This directly affects the quality of products on the market, and subsequently the majority of genetics available are short-flowering indicas, limiting the selection of strains available. Legalising cannabis would help regulate the black market and provide high-quality flowers without contaminants or disease.

Practical information when visiting the Hanfparade

  • Location – Spandauer Straße, next to Alexanderplatz and Hackescher Markt Station
  • Cost – Free for all ages
  • Staying there – Private accommodation can be found at nearby hotels and hostels.

Rules / Legalities

  • No smoking – This is in accordance with German anti-smoking laws.
  • No drones – Drones are forbidden.
  • No cannabis – Check out this in-depth article about cannabis laws in Germany to learn more.
A crowd with Sensi Seeds bags standing in front of the booth during the Hanfparade

The history of Hanfparade

For decades, activists have fought for their rights to cannabis as a raw material, medicine and luxury food. Hanfparade aims to end cannabis prohibition, celebrate cannabis culture and helps to influence public opinion in favour of legalisation. With ongoing support, the parade has become the largest pro-cannabis gathering in Europe. Each year the Hanfparade create a different slogan, that highlights key demands and essential aspects for the preparation to remove the unjustified Narcotics Act.

2023 – Hemp is beneficial for peace and climate

The slogan for this year was “Hemp is beneficial for peace and climate,” and focused on climate change and the imperative for cannabis reform. A vibrant parade featuring colourful floats brought together a crowd of 4,000 people. Sensi Seeds proudly sponsored the event, and live performances by Vita and Mara Zee were featured on this year’s agenda. Prominent speakers such as Ferdinand Siebert, Florian Rister, Andreas Grätsch, and others covered many topics, including politics, culture, medicine, and legalisation.

2022 – Cannabis is for everyone

Four thousand people united for the procession accompanied by colourful parade floats. A jam-packed schedule of live performances from Johnny 808, Maama Ganja, and Raggabund.

Issues regarding politics, culture, medicine and legalisation are all addressed. 2022’s event was quite controversial, with representatives of the Green Party advocating for the decriminalisation of cocaine and ecstasy.

2021 – 50 years of prohibition – time for emancipation

Finally, after waiting a year, protesters could return to the streets and over three thousand united for the 2021 Hanfparade. Sensi Seeds sponsored the main stage and hosted a variety of speeches from politicians, associations and organisations. Cannabis information centres were set up throughout the parade to help educate the public about the benefits of cannabis, while the magazine Grow covered the event. It was time for a change.

2020 – Cannabis is good – legal even better

Due to the COVID pandemic, protesters could not gather in the streets. Instead, the organisers organised a live-streaming event which could be accessed globally. The event had iconic speakers, such as Florian Rister and Georg Wurth from the German Hemp Association. There was live music from Bassplorers, Saetchmo, Delaydi and videos showcasing previous editions.

2019 – Legalisation only with you

The 2019 edition of Hanfparade helped raise awareness about the lack of educational resources and information regarding cannabis as a raw material and medicine. The slogan “legalisation only with you” was directed at the German authorities, stating that without their support, nothing would be done to tackle cannabis discrimination and decriminalisation.

Ten floats participated in the Hanfparade with political speeches, live music from Culcha Candela, and Sensi Movement Soundsystem, among others. There was also a commercial hemp area and an information booth from Sensi Seeds.

2018 – Education, not prohibition

In 2018, the Berlin Declaration was signed by Hanfparade participants and sent to the Federal Ministry of Health and the Drugs Commissioner. It demanded that the government legalise recreational cannabis, improve education and facilitate easy access to cannabis as a medicine. Improved educational programs debunk the myths about cannabis, and people can learn about the benefits of the plant. In comparison, a lack of education leads to overindulgence and prohibition.

The program contained an Impressive selection of global speakers incorporating Mariana Pinzon Becht from Mexico, Michael Knodt, the former editors of the Hanf Journal. Piotr Markiełaŭ from Belarus and the cannabis activist Hans Cousto from Switzerland. Ganjaman, Dj Kelly and Checan provided music for the masses.

2017- We are getting further

This year, there were national speakers from the Hemp Museum, CSC Berlin and Hanfliebe. Music from B tight, MXKB, Planet Ion and an exceptional group performance of LetsGrow. The motto, “We are getting further“, was related to the increasing number of supporters and uses of the cannabis plant. The parade included an array of informational booths, food and beverages, and everyone’s favourite hemp products! The party continued into the night.

2016 – Legalisation is in the air

Over 12,000 people participated in the Hanfparade and highlighted the importance of having access to cannabis without discrimination. Advocates called to legalise cannabis as a medicine, raw material and food. The parade was colourful and peaceful, helping to unite the cannabis community.

Attractions included the main stage and “the Forum for Medicinal Cannabis“, sponsored by Sensi Seeds.

2015 – Use cannabis!

Ten thousand pro-legalisation supporters marched through the streets of Berlin. As the cannabis industry is growing globally, the slogan “Use cannabis” aimed to accentuate the increased acceptance of cannabis globally. There was a unique five-hour program of performers and guest speakers. Highlights included Steffen Geyer, chairman of the Hanfparade, Rolf Ebbinghaus from the Hemp Museum Berlin and Paula P’Cay from the Humanist Peace Party.

2014 – Green light for the legalisation

This year’s motto, “Green light for the legalisation”, encouraged the development of objectives between political parties to push for legalisation. It also compared German prohibition to the current situation in America, where Colorado and Washington have legalised cannabis for recreational purposes. Belgium has followed the Spanish cannabis social club model, but Germany has been left behind.

There were memorable speeches from Dutch coffeeshop pioneer Nol van Schaik, Swiss cannabis researcher Hans Cousto and Jörn from the Drug Education Agency, along with unforgettable performances from live musicians D-Flame and Uwe Banton.

2013 – My choice? Cannabis legal!

More than 6,500 attendees participated in the 2013 Hanfparade to defend their rights to cannabis.

They did not want to be deprived of their self-determination by double-moral health apostles and mendacious politicians! The slogan “My choice, cannabis legal” was aimed at government paternalism, with ongoing demands to legalise cannabis for agricultural, industrial and medicinal purposes.

Amongst a wide range of speakers, Monika Herrmann, the district mayor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, voiced her opinion about supporting a cannabis coffeeshop to regulate the market. While a fantastic range of live acts performed on the main stage, including Stoney Moe, NUDE, The Tips, and The Hempalicouis Choir!

2012 – Freedom, health, justice!

The sixteenth Hanfparade’s motto, “Freedom, health, justice“, highlighted that due to the Narcotics Act throughout Germany, there is no freedom to consume or cultivate. With limited access to medicinal-grade cannabis, many suffer from an unregulated market. Supporters believed it was the time to end discrimination against the cannabis plant, and throughout the parade, over four thousand people chanted, “Freedom, Health, Justice!“.

2011 – Forty years are enough!

With more than 18,000 incarcerated across Germany for cannabis offences, at the fifteenth Hanfparade, thousands of pro-legalisation supporters took to the streets and demanded the removal of the Narcotics Act, which has been in place for 40 years. Enough is enough, they bellowed! The parade was a great success, and many international companies sponsored the parade, including Weedmaps and Leafy.

2010 – Cannabis is world culture!

More significant than the previous year, over three thousand visitors took part in the Hanfparade to educate the public about cannabis and its many uses, including cannabis as a raw material, medicine and luxury food. The motto was “Cannabis is world culture!” and called for the entire cannabis culture to be included in UNESCO’s intangible world cultural heritage. Sensi Seeds sponsored the main stage, and the closing ceremony was celebrated into the early hours.

2009 – Free for choice

Over a thousand demonstrators marched under the slogan “Free for choice” during the thirteenth edition of Hanfparade. Directly calling out the Federal Ministry of Health, protesters wanted to raise awareness that people have the right to vote in the political system but are not free to consume or grow cannabis. This freedom must not be limited to politics; this year’s motto enforced the necessity for freedom of choice!

2008 – Youth protection, consumer protection, and legalise

Before the opening ceremony for the twelfth edition of Hanfparade, many paradegoers were frisked by enthusiastic police officers looking for the next Pablo Escobar. Parade floats were highly colourful and covered in cannabis paraphernalia. On the main stage, international artists accompanied by guest speakers provided entertainment into the evening.

This year’s motto, “Youth protection, consumer protection, and legalise,” helped illuminate the problems surrounding the unregulated cannabis market. People wanted a free, regulated market with quality products.

2007 – Give me 5! Against poison in the grass!

Two thousand cannabis activists attended Hanfaparade and demanded legalising cannabis and decriminalising five plants for personal cultivation. The motto was “Give me 5! Against poison in the grass!”. Aiming to raise awareness of contaminated cannabis and promote growing your own. Reggae artists Jah Seal, Soundpirates, and MC Sufferah were among some of the musicians who got the audience moving before the closing ceremony.

2006 – Legalisation now! Rethinking instead of giving away billions!

The tenth Hanfparade’s motto was “Legalisation now! Rethinking instead of giving away billions!” and over 1,500 visitors attended the opening rally. Activists wanted to highlight the economic benefits of cannabis for society, while some went even further, demanding hemp for climate change and highlighting its use as a carbon sequester! During the event, police removed multiple cannabis plants from the market at Brandenburger Gate, and the event concluded with a six-hour speech.

2005 – We are the cannabis

This year’s Hanfparade was smaller than others, with around a thousand supporters and five beautifully decorated floats. The motto was “We are the cannabis!”. A wordplay on the phrase “We are the people“, a shibboleth used during the peaceful demonstrations for the emancipation of the Berlin wall. The parade was supposed to finish in Berlin’s Mauerpark, but the city prohibited the final closing ceremony, which was set to live music, a hemp area, and a speaking corner.

2004 – Get wise, legalise!

The first hemp fashion show premiered in 2004, and this year’s event slogan was “Get wise, legalise!”. Along with international speakers, the district mayor spoke about her vision for drug reforms. Over 13 parade floats were dressed in cannabis-based attire, and the parade attracted over 8,000 visitors. The market of opportunities again provided an area for hemp-based products, while the industrial area highlighted its robust properties.

2003 – Give the cannabis free!

Over five thousand were present at the Hanfparade in 2003, and the year’s motto was “Give the cannabis free!”. The main stage included various musical performances from Skunk Allstars, Mc Rene, Kamikaze 52, and more. Both internal and International speakers adequately represented the cannabis industry, with talks from Rainer Nowotny, Hanf Magazine, and Legalize! from the Netherlands. Sixteen floats supported the parade, and the market of possibilities created a space for hemp merchants.

2002 – For cannabis use, against cannabis abuse

The slogan for the 2002 edition of Hanfparade was “For cannabis use, against cannabis abuse” and supported the need for “clarification instead of bans“. In retaliation for confiscating cannabis plants during the rally, Hans-Christian Ströbele from the Green Party called to Release the cannabis! It was later sampled by Stefan Raab and Jamaican reggae artist Shaggy, which was used in their top 10 hit, “Gebt das Hanf frei!”.

2001 – No war against plants

Hanfparade’s slogan this year was “No war against plants”, emphasising a need for cannabis reform and to stop the prohibition of a plant indigenous to mother earth. Crowds of people joined worldwide activists, including the New York organisation, Cures not Wars and raised awareness of the benefits of cannabis through conferences, lectures and talks. The Sofa Surfers and Rockers HiFi moved the crowd, and Hanfparade received warm welcomes.

2000 – Legalise it globally

During the first Hanfparade of the millennium, over ten thousand demonstrators marched through the streets, and support grew to “legalise it globally”. The magazine Grow launched its “show yourself” campaigner, where thousands of cannabis users admitted to cannabis consumption, helping to remove societal stigmatism. Musical performances were back, and reggae artist Casma Hoody performed as the heavens opened, but it took more than rain to bring the spirit down!

A crowd on Hanfparade walking and holding signs with hemp leaves

1999 – Into the future with cannabis

Due to financial difficulties from the previous years, there was no live entertainment. However, thousands of members of the cannabis community united and protested for their rights, stepping “Into the future with cannabis“. There was a dramatic call for a cannabis revolution, and it was the first time representatives from all major political parties voiced their opinions on reform.

1998 – The fight continues

The mayor of Berlin banned commercial events outside Brandenburg Gate and announced that the 1998 edition of the Hanfparade would be the last. Nevertheless, that did not stop them! After the political elections, over 50,000 people demanded the legalisation of cannabis and marched under the slogan “The fight continues“. The event concluded with live performances from Zion Train and Five Star Deluxe to over 2,000 people!

1997 – Legalisation now!

The first Hanfparade took place in 1997, where thousands marched beside the registered association, Bündnis Hanfparade demanding “legalisation now!”. As part of the parade, musical highlights included the English heavy metal band Saxon and the comedy rock band JBO who performed outside Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The market of opportunities included a wide variety of hemp products and united the cannabis community.

At Sensi Seeds, we’re always happy to join Hanfparade in their mission. Will we see you there?

  • 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.

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  • Author_profile-Sensi-Mark-Smith

    Mark Smith

    Mark Smith is an English cannabis advocate based in The Netherlands. He’s worked across the world in the cannabis industry for over ten years, from Canada, to Spain, and to Californian cannabis farms. He’s followed his passion for cannabis across nearly every continent, and is currently dedicated to spreading the word as Head of Content at Sensi Seeds in Amsterdam.
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