History of the museum

History of the museums

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam is the oldest and most important museum in the world dedicated to Cannabis sativa L., also known as hemp or marijuana.

Hash Info Museum

In 1985, Dutch entrepreneur and philanthropist Ben Dronkers, together with his friend Ed Rosenthal, opened the Hash Info Museum in Amsterdam’s red light district. Only one day after the official opening the museum was forced to close on the personal orders of the Minister of Justice. But Ben Dronkers was (and is!) persistent. He successfully challenged the closure and reopened the museum a week later. A few years later, the information centre was renamed the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.

Ben Dronkers and Ed Rosenthal in the 1980s

Many aspects of the cannabis plant were already displayed then. Dronkers explains: "The aim of the museum was [and is] to inform people about the significance of hash and marijuana, not only in the coffee shops of Amsterdam, but as a global, cultural and natural phenomenon." Since the opening of the museum, the collection has grown to over 7,000 pieces, most of which were acquired by Dronkers on his many travels across the world.

Hash Info Museum

The museum in Amsterdam in 1996

Hemp Gallery

Since 2009, the museum in Amsterdam has occupied two complementary sites along the same canal in Amsterdam. The museum focuses on hash and marijuana, while the Hemp Gallery is entirely dedicated to industrial hemp. Your ticket gives you access to both these sites. Experienced volunteers at the Cannabis College (a non-profit organisation located along the same canal as the museum) are available to help you find answers to all your queries about cannabis and hemp, and can often answer them directly.

In 2012, the museum in Amsterdam was completely renovated and the museum and gallery were refurbished. On the 26th of April 2012, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum was reopened by the former Minister for Education, Science and Culture, Hedy d'Ancona, during a celebratory event. In her speech, she praised the renovation and the passion with which the collection had been put together and made public as a wonderful example of contemporary cultural entrepreneurship.

Cannabis museum in Barcelona

In the same year, the museum expanded to Barcelona. With great media interest and in the presence of entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Barcelona was officially opened by cultural anthropologist Josep Ferigla, on the 9th of May 2012. The Palau Mornau, as the stunning building in the centre of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter is known, is a genuine modernistic palace dedicated to cannabis.

Over two million visitors

Since opening, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum has welcomed over two million visitors. Currently, the museum manages and presents a unique collection that encompasses all aspects of cannabis. It functions as an educational centre, facilitates scientific research and fulfils an important informative role. A must for everyone interested in cannabis.

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