A look at the seminal figures behind Amsterdam's thriving marijuana businesses
Published: February 16, 2011
Sidney went to work with his friend Ravi Dronkers in the Sensi Seeds operation in 1996, and teamed up with Joeri after opening up a stand called the Hempshopper to vend hemp products in the Nieuwmarkt. Over the years, they opened two Hempshoppers in the Centruum and developed a close relationship with a hemp products manufacturer and distributor in Germany as a major customer. Recently, they assumed ownership of his company, Hemperium, and are developing a line of hemp consumer products from lollipops and essential oils to clothing items.
Not only do I benefit from their enterprise and social commitment, but it's rewarding to see a new generation of citizens in their 20s and 30s take the up old-school principles that have guided me for so long and made Holland such a distinctive place in the 21st century.
In light of Mayor Dave Bing's recent call for new ideas to revitalize business and employment in the D, it would make perfect sense for the city of Detroit to take the next step forward and commit to the municipal growing of hemp as a potentially massive income source for the city, using its vast acreage of vacant land, abandoned factories, schools and police stations to grow marijuana for distribution and sale to the medical marijuana community of patients, caregivers and — potentially — dispensaries.
I'll take up this topic later, but Larry Gabriel really rang my bell when he quoted former state Rep. LaMar Lemmons Jr. saying, "Hemp farming can create thousands of jobs ... [and] with the large amount of vacant land in Detroit, we could do some of the agriculture right here." Amen, brother, amen.
—Amsterdam, Feb. 10-11, 2011
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