Sensi Seeds’ pivotal moments – The first steps

In the context of our 30th anniversary, over the next few weeks we will be publishing a series of articles about the pivotal moments in Sensi Seeds’ history. They represent the building blocks of our core values and what we stand for today. This article examines two such pivotal moments.

In the context of our 30th anniversary, over the next few weeks we will be publishing a series of articles about the pivotal moments in Sensi Seeds’ history. They represent the building blocks of our core values and what we stand for today. This article examines two such pivotal moments.

pivotal moments graphic small grow on

Ben Dronkers becomes fascinated by cannabis

Ben Dronkers is the founder of Sensi Seeds, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museums in Amsterdam and Barcelona and Hempflax. His fascination with the cannabis plant resulted in a company philosophy set in stone, and this philosophy is deeply rooted in all our companies.

Ben had inherited his love of entrepreneurship from his father and his love of plants from his mother. When Ben was 17 years old, he first smoked a hash joint together with his friend. It wasn’t until a few years later, though, that he became aware of the value of hemp fibre and the healing property of cannabis. That was all back in the 1970s, when Ben regularly travelled to Turkey and Pakistan to purchase fabrics. There he spoke to local farmers who gave him cannabis and cannabis seeds.

If things had turned out differently, or for some reason these events hadn’t taken place, Ben’s future would probably have been very different. As it turns out, these events were the start of an unconditional love that he could never let go. It is therefore rightly so that Ben Dronker’s fascination with cannabis was the first pivotal moment in our 30-year history. Read the interview with Ben Dronkers that was held on the occasion of our 30th anniversary.

Sensi Smile opens its doors

Ed Rosenthal Ben Dronkers Sensi Smile
Grow guru Ed Rosenthal (l) and Ben Dronkers in front of the Sensi Smile.

In 1983, two years before the official start of Sensi Seeds, Ben Dronkers opened Sensi Smile. It was the first coffeeshop in Rotterdam: a pick-up point for hash and weed on the premises from which Ben used to sell clothes.

In 1976, the new Dutch Opium Law (the Dutch policy of tolerance) entered into force, making a distinction between hard and soft drugs, and decriminalising cannabis. In those days, one had to travel to Amsterdam to buy weed in a coffeeshop. From an entrepreneurial point of view, and also motivated by his belief in an open, transparent and clear coffeeshop model, it was Ben Dronkers intention for Sensi Smile to contribute to the decriminalisation and normalisation of cannabis in the Netherlands.

In June 1986, he commented in an interview to Het Vrije Volk:

“Our philosophy behind the ‘Sensi thing’ is a quest for openness, rather than all the secrecy enforced on us for years by the authorities. The main goal, besides the business itself, is to create a clear divide between the hard drugs and soft drugs circuits. Everyone who wants the same should feel free to step inside.”

Later, other Sensi coffeeshops were also opened in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Groningen, but once Ben Dronkers shifted his full focus to cannabis seeds, most of them were sold. Read more about the history in ’30 Years of Sensi Seeds – from an overwhelming passion to an unshakable vision’.

Next week, we will publish the next article on pivotal moments on our blog. Click here to read more articles about Sensi Seeds’ 30-year history.

#growonsensi

Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author

  • Profile-image

    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.
    More about this author
Scroll to Top