Awarded And Honored People

Marc Emery

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In 2014 Marc Scott Emery receives the Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award during the 27th High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.

Marc Scott Emery (born February 13, 1958) is a Canadian activist who is famous for starting a political, capitalist cannabis movement across Canada. 

Marc Emery began his cannabis activism in 1990, when he launched a campaign to challenge Canada's 1987 ban on books and magazines about marijuana in particular,
 HIGH TIMES magazine. (The ban was also on all smoking devices like bongs and pipes.In 1995, Emery achieved his first goal as marijuana books and magazines were made legal.

Emery is most famous for starting a political, capitalist cannabis movement across Canada. In 1994, he began selling cannabis seeds as a fundraising tool, which allowed him to donate more than $5 million to ballot initiatives, lawsuits against the US federal government, Canadian Supreme Court challenges and a huge array of campaigns world wide. 

Emery is also known from the Cannabis Culture magazine, working as publisher from 1994 to 2009. He says he was greatly influenced by people like Ayn Rand and the late Jack Herer.

The day after the 2000 federal election in Canada, Marc Emery founded The British Columbia Marijuana Party (BCMP) which advocates the legalization of cannabisThe BCMP made provincial history during the 2001 provincial election that came six months later, by being the only party to ever field candidates in all of the province's ridings during their first election campaign.  

In his pursuit to legalize cannabis Emery has been arrested 28 times for pot-related offenses, raided 5 times, and has been jailed or imprisoned 23 times. In
 August 2014, Marc was released from a US federal prison after serving a 5-year sentence for selling seeds, in a US court, he agreed that he had distributed 3 million seeds to the US from 1995-2005.

His famous quote is "Plant the Seeds of Freedom, Overgrow the Government." A quote he has lived his life by, Marc Emery is often referred to as: "the Prince of Pot". For his devotion and dedication for legalization he is awarded the Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award.


Ben Dronkers

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Ben DronkersBen Dronkers inducted in the Counterculture Hall Of Fame

Ben Dronkers, founder of the Sensi Seed Bank, HempFlax, and the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam, was inducted in the Counterculture Hall Of Fame in 2013, during the 26th High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.

The Counterculture Hall of Fame was created in 1997 by High Times Editor Steven Hager. The purpose of the Hall of Fame was to help focus ceremonies at the annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, and to celebrate the history of the counterculture by recognizing its saints. The inductions are done in Amsterdam every year on Thanksgiving as part of the Cannabis Cup awards show. Often a documentary film is shown to introduce the inductee(s) to the audience. A silver Cannabis Cup is awarded as part of the induction ceremony.

Ben Dronkers

As a young man in the late 1960s, Ben Dronkers worked on merchant ships which sailed from his native Rotterdam to various exotic locations. This was the beginning of Ben’s lifelong passion for travel. Later, when he decided to try his hand at designing and creating distinctive clothing for his own shop he travelled to Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to buy fabrics and discovered the advantages of hemp fibre.

Inspired to Collect Cannabis Seeds

He also bought cannabis in these countries. He relates with a smile, “I asked the farmers about cannabis plants and they laughed rather secretively. One of them gave me a handful of cannabis seeds as a gift and told me the seeds were very important. Naturally, this inspired me to preserve them, to learn about the qualities of seeds from different regions, and to collect more.”

Exceptional New Hybrids

By the time he returned to the Netherlands, Ben had assembled an extensive collection of cannabis genetics from all over Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Subcontinent. Starting with these important building blocks, he began breeding his own cannabis strains and hybrids. In the early Eighties, an influx of new strains from the USA provided more gene-stock from which to create more exceptional hybrids. Establishing the Sensi Seed Club in 1985 enabled him to share his success with fellow enthusiasts.

Sharing the Knowledge

During his travels, Ben also collected unusual, beautiful and rare artefacts connected to the world of cannabis and hemp. As he became more aware of the history and potential of global cannabis and hemp use, he became more passionate about sharing his knowledge and collection with the public.

Along with his friend and fellow cannabis activist, Ed Rosenthal, this led to the opening of the Hash Info Museum, which would grow to become the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, one of Amsterdam’s major tourist attractions.

More Cannabis Genetics In 1991, Ben bought another seed bank from a breeder who had also been working with the US hybrids since the Eighties and the gene-stock of the two companies was merged to form the Sensi Seed Bank we know today. More new strains followed and the company went from strength to strength.

Reviving the Hemp Industry

Not content to merely talk about the wonderful things that hemp is capable of, in 1994 Ben Dronkers founded HempFlax, a company in the north of Holland dedicated to growing and processing industrial hemp. Over the following years he invested tens of millions of euros in this courageous and ultimately successful bid to revive the once-thriving Dutch hemp industry.

Sensi in Paradise

Ben Dronkers also continued to travel and spent a lot of time in Southeast Asia, especially Thailand which he found so beautiful and welcoming that he founded the Sensi Paradise Resort on the island of Koh Tao. He still spends several months a year in this gorgeous location. A second Sensi Resort in Borneo is currently under construction.

Recent Addition

In 2008, the latest addition to Ben’s enterprise opened: the Museum Gallery, a much-needed annex to the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum. Ben is understandably proud of this addition to the Sensi family, where some of his favorite pieces are showcased. The Gallery displays Old Masters, painted hundreds of years ago, which depict ordinary men and women enjoying the smoking of cannabis.

Cannabis Entrepreneur

As Ben enters his 60s, it is doubtful that he will rest on his laurels. His dedication to the marvelous multifaceted plant cannabis Sativa L. spurs him on to new challenges each year. Though many of his ideas are now a thriving reality, there are always new possibilities to explore for this cannabis entrepreneur.


Todd McCormick

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Todd McCormickIn 2012 Todd McCormick received the Cannabis Culture Award. Todd  McCormick has been an activist, publicist and researcher for cannabis since 1994. He collaborated with Jack Herer on a new edition of his book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. During the mid-90s he lived in Amsterdam, while there he became one of the first 10 patients in the Netherlands to receive a prescription for medicinal cannabis. In 1995, after debating the DEA at the University of Miami, he used this prescription to transport Dutch cannabis to the U.S. and declaired it at customs as medicine. Shortly thereafter, he founded the first “Cannabis Compassion Club” in San Diego. During his time in Amsterdam, McCormick worked as editor-in-chief of Hemplife, a sister publication of Highlife Magazine.
The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Amsterdam confers the Cannabis Culture Awards to those who have distinguished themselves in the struggle for acceptance of Cannabis in all of its forms, working to ensure that this extraordinary plant has a future where it is fully utilized and a history that is fully known
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