Connect with the coffee shop roots of cannabis with Royal Queen Seeds
Experience the strains that have made Amsterdam the center of the weed world.
In the entire long love affair between humans and cannabis, there has never been a place like Amsterdam. During the dark years of near-global cannabis prohibition, the Netherlands was a lonely bastion of legal weed and Amsterdam was the country’s beating heart.
Cannabis enthusiasts of all stripes made the pilgrimage to the Netherlands to experience the world-famous “coffee shops” for themselves and returned home with stories of now-legendary strains like White Widow, Amnesia Haze and Northern Lights.
The culture of creation and appreciation cultivated in Amsterdam coffee shops gave rise to a generation of master growers that continues to influence the broader cannabis conversation today. Some of the leading breeders found their home at Royal Queen Seeds, the legendary European seed bank that recently made its way to American shores.
How are “coffee shops” different from “coffee shops”?
We recently caught up with RQS and learned about their fascinating F1 hybrid seeds, but this time we’re going back in time with their Coffeeshop Classic seed pack. This pack of three famous strains, White Widow, Amnesia Haze and Northern Lights, pays homage to a golden age of cannabis when the coffee shop reigned supreme.
We take a quick look at what made the coffee shop scene so special, how it came to be, and how its legacy continues to resonate today. Then we take a look at the strains included in the bundle and how they came to define the Amsterdam era. Let’s dive in!
How the Dutch saved grass
Image courtesy of Royal Queen Seeds.
The world-famous “coffee shops” in the Netherlands, which have been serving the needs of Dutch cannabis lovers and confusing caffeine-deprived tourists for decades, owe their existence to a happy confluence of factors.
Strong unions and a cultural penchant for pragmatism made the Dutch legal system somewhat idiosyncratic, and these idiosyncrasies encouraged Dutch authorities to take a laissez-faire approach to drug enforcement regarding cannabis.
However, that wasn’t always the case. To the wave of psychoactive drug proliferation that occurred in the United States and Europe in the 1960s, the Netherlands responded as repressively as any other government. In the 1970s, the ever-pragmatic people wisely decided to re-evaluate these policies and found that the costs of cannabis prohibition far outweighed the benefits.
Although they did not fully legalize cannabis, the Dutch adopted a policy of non-enforcement of current laws. In a situation that may be familiar to readers in some American states, this has resulted in a situation in which cannabis is neither legal nor illegal, a term the Dutch call “gedogen” but we might be more familiar with as a “gray market.” “ is known.
But what does all this have to do with coffee? Well, by the beginning of the geodog era, cannabis had already fully penetrated youth culture in the Netherlands. It was not at all unusual for cannabis dealers to congregate in the same places as young people, such as music venues, movie theaters and, yes, coffee shops.
The history of Dutch cannabis coffee shops
When the Dutch government considered what to do about these “hustlers,” it concluded that it would be better to keep them in safe places rather than force them into the rougher areas of the city where there are young people Drugs might be more difficult to meet people seeking cannabis.
So coffee shop became the unofficial, then official name for a place to buy cannabis, and over the years coffee shops evolved into the world-famous industry they are today.
These factors made coffee shops the best meeting place for cannabis enthusiasts to chat about the craft of cultivation and compare favorite strains. It is by no means understated that these coffee shops played an integral role in promoting and pioneering the cannabis culture that we all know and love today.
Without the coffee shops, there wouldn’t even be Leafly! So the next time you light up your favorite brew, think about the coffee shops of yesteryear that played an integral role in keeping your joint going.
The deep roots of Royal Queen Seeds
Image courtesy of Royal Queen Seeds.
This exciting coffee shop background of creative cannabis culture and consumption gave birth to a number of famous companies that still exist today, but few of them have the extensive historical knowledge or growing expertise of the Royal Queen Seeds team.
They got their start in the coffee shops where they gained their first experiences and learned cultivation in Amsterdam, the heart and soul of the cannabis community. Founded at the height of the city’s coffee shop era, they continue to operate a brick-and-mortar location in Amsterdam to this day, deep in the historic city center.
What does the future hold for cannabis coffee shops?
This vibrant connection to the coffee shop era helps Royal Queen Seeds stay true to its roots. They were there as iconic strains were bred and distributed throughout the coffee shop community, and they weren’t just passive observers, either.
Royal Queen Seeds held trade shows during the coffee shop era to publicize strains and evangelize the wonders of cannabis. Many of the seeds available for purchase today owe their ancestry to this era that the RQS team fondly remembers.
“The Netherlands used to be the center of the cannabis movement. The world’s attention shifted there and the industry thrived,” said Boy Ramsahai, founder of Royal Queen Seeds. “Coffee shops encouraged the breeding and development of new stains, and people could enjoy smoking without any problems.”
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Although the focus of the cannabis industry has definitely shifted to the American side of the Atlantic these days, we can look back on the Dutch coffee shop era as a true golden age for cannabis that deserves to be recognized.
Fortunately, groups like RQS preserve the history, culture and genetic strains that made the halcyon days so special. “The seed that was planted is still thriving today with Royal Queen seeds,” Ramsahai said.
Expand your own story with the Coffeeshop Classics Pack
A touch of the northern lights. Image courtesy of Royal Queen Seeds.
As a tribute to the cannabis of yesteryear, Royal Queen Seeds offers a special bundle of seeds made famous by the coffee shop culture in which they were bred. The three strains included in the Coffeeshop Classics Pack, White Widow, Amnesia Haze and Northern Light, have all become the legends they are today in the dynamic coffeeshop scene.
Royal Queen has protected these genetics over the years, so when you germinate these seeds, you can be sure you’re getting the exact same terpene profile that made Amsterdam’s buzz back in the day.
Why you should grow F1 hybrids from Royal Queen Seeds
But savvy breeders like RQS didn’t select the three members of the Coffeeshop Classic Bundle just because they’re famous coffeeshop mainstays – no, these girls are sisters who can team up to help you have one all day long to achieve a balanced mood.
Amnesia Haze, a citrusy, sativa-dominant strain, offers a powerful, cerebral high perfect for daytime smoking and paired with, you guessed it, coffee. On the stem, Amnesia Haze buds feature hints of burnt orange and lots of frost.
A touch of Amnesia Haze. Image courtesy of Royal Queen Seeds.
Once the morning glow of an Amnesia Haze smoke wears off, White Widow is waiting in the wings. This child of the Netherlands and mainstay of the European market produces dense, resin-rich buds with the famous patches of white trichomes from which this strain takes its name.
Few strains have gained as much fame in the coffee shop scene as White Widow for her billowing, powerful high that relaxes the body and speeds up the mind. White Widow is an ideal “rally” strain, a great way to get in a good mood after work when it’s time to party.
And when it’s finally time to fall asleep with a nightcap, the final flavor in the Coffeeshop Classics pack, Northern Lights, is exactly the flavor you want. Northern lights give you a deep, rocky feeling that softens even the most chaotic days.
Growing Northern Lights results in buds with a striking purple base and deep, almost black purple tones. Like her sisters in the bundle, Northern Lights is also quite strong, so be careful with this icon of the coffee shop era.
A touch of White Widow. Image courtesy of Royal Queen Seeds
The Coffeeshop Classics Bundle is just a small selection of the dozens of strains Royal Queen Seeds has on offer. You can visit their website to explore all the different options, read their blog, read their growing FAQs, read user reviews, and more. You can also follow them on Facebook, X/Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with all the exciting offers and new products from RQS.
Availability is subject to legal regulations.