Those who have ventured to Amsterdam’s cannabis scene at any point in the last half century have probably encountered one of the most emblematic companies in the 50-year-old, strange, half-legal industry in Holland that is now on its way to revolutionizing the entire conversation, globally.
Namely, The Bulldog “coffeeshop.”
The Bulldog has almost certainly been a stop on that tour for many of those visitors. The world’s first cannabis coffeeshop, and one of the few that remains with its original owners, is an institution. Named after the founder’s beloved four-legged friend Joris, the dogged determination to not only survive, but thrive in a world that is still being defined and regulated is also part of the brand, if not the concept beyond it.
Being able to consume cannabis publicly, with a group of other aficionados, has subsequently become part of the anthem of reform for the legalizing industry. Indeed, this one aspect of the “culture” outside of Holland has almost become a rallying cry in places where cannabis is becoming more legal.
That said, it wasn’t until very recently that it has even been possible to consider opening such an establishment outside of this low-lying country made famous (in part) by tulips, creative financial wizardry such as agricultural commodities exchanges, and a certain piratical entrepreneurialism—all of which have created many strange stories if not historical twists and turns with global implications.
Cannabis of course, is just one more of them. As is the idea of the cannabis cafe.
The reason, despite the idea’s popularity? Such establishments still fly in the face of regulatory muster just about everywhere. However, with the hopeful receding of COVID this year, it is very likely that the idea encapsulated by The Bulldog will spread rapidly—and of course not …
Author: Marguerite Arnold / High Times