4,20 New Amsterdams

For a city of less than a million people, Amsterdam has made it to some worldwide reputation. Nearly 20 million tourists visited Amsterdam before Covid hit us - the old stronghold of international commerce has been transformed into an international tourist mecca.  It's well known that there are not only the Van Gogh Museum and the canals that attract tourists, but also the city's reputation as a tolerant paradise for the freaks and free spirits in Europe. Legal prostitution and (not illegal) distribution of THC-containing cannabis flowers fueled this reputation massively from the 1970s. 

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema announced earlier this year that she would deny tourists access to cannabis in the future. This is far from the first time such a proposal has been put out there, but this time many commentators in the media seem to take these efforts seriously. And sure, one can see many issues in the behavior of many Amsterdam visitors. However, the calculation the Amsterdam mayor is trying to make here is as wrong as it is backward - she hopes to keep the drunken hordes out by banning the distribution of cannabis to tourists. However, the problem tourists don't usually come for cannabis, but mainly for the countless flat rate and striptease bars. The stoner tourists, on the other hand, are mostly quiet, eat a lot, and enjoy the beautiful canals. That might not help us though - should Amsterdam stop giving weed to tourists, some of us will have to choose a new destination for their next vacation soon. For more info on some of these and other cities from our travels, you can also listen to Pilchard's Potcast. But for now, here are our 4,20 suggestions for your next trip:

The Cities

  1. Barcelona
  2. Cape Town
  3. Denver
  4. Vancouver
  5. Lisbon


1. Barcelona

Photo by Alessio Rinella on Unsplash

Our home town. Among weed connoisseurs, Barcelona has been gradually gaining a reputation as the new Amsterdam. The quality of cannabis Amsterdam visitors are used to, is surpassed in almost every club here - not to mention the Catalan weather and food - Barcelona is in a league of its own by European standards. Although cannabis social clubs are allowed throughout Spain, the Catalonia region around Barcelona is the center of Iberian cannabis culture. Big brands such as Cookies, Greenhouse, and others have their establishments here. Accordingly, well-known strains are also widespread and in many places, you can also get new genetics and of course real Californian strains of top quality. There are good reasons for us to get many of our feminized seeds in the vicinity of such social clubs. Our favorite place to chill and work is CSC Choko. Not only do they serve exceptionally good cannabis, but you can also enjoy it in a dignified environment while chatting with the artists exhibiting in the club.

2. Cape Town

Photo by KYLE CUT MEDIA on Unsplash

Cape Town is almost at the southernmost point of Africa. How torn apart society is here, can be seen as soon as you leave the airport towards the city center. Townships end and merge into villa districts. Find down-to-earth locals in small restaurants and bars, get to know them a little and you will soon find your way around. Most likely, you’ll get told everywhere how dangerous everything is - but somehow nothing happened to us. Maybe we were lucky, maybe we were just nice enough. In any case, we had a great time there. During a visit to a trade show in Cape Town, we learned that between northern South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, about one million people feed their families mainly through cannabis cultivation. Anyone who wants to get to know true Sativas should consider a trip to Africa - the flowering of some landraces takes up to 16 weeks here. South Africa has been in the process of legalizing cannabis for more than two years now. Only slowly, the local industry gets closer to the big promises of international investors. So don't be put off by media talking about the so-called African marijuana boom - every cannabis lover should visit Africa. The local culture around our plant is breathtaking. Be sure to try yourself at getting some original Durban Poison. For us as the Pilchard's Crew, another important reason to put Cape Town on the list - waves are also world-class here. So start planning your trip to Cape Town and look forward to good food, great waves, and impressive cannabis culture.

3. Denver

Photo by Jordan M. Lomibao on Unsplash

It started slowly. When people in Colorado and Washington woke up the morning after the 2012 presidential election, news was spreading that voters had decided for the legalization of cannabis. The news quickly spread internationally - at the time, most people were still unfamiliar with serious legalization efforts in the US. Denver has since become an epicenter of North American cannabis culture. Nearly 200 dispensaries are located in the Denver area - plus stretch limo services that transport tourists around the city, cannabis chefs, and many other well-established start-ups. Our recommendation, however, is a little away from the urban hustle and bustle. Get a few grams of good herb, maybe some concentrate, and drive it to the Rocky Mountains. You can already see them from the city, these majestic mountains naturally attracted us too. In winter, you can ski or snowboard here - in summer, you can canoe down the Colorado River. There's no chance of getting bored with such a program. Just be aware - the national parks are federal ground and therefore pot is still prohibited there.

4. Vancouver

Photo by Marco Tjokro on Unsplash

The history of BC Bud (we can't sell it, it's Clone Only) is a good one. American hippies who fled to Canada in the 70s in order to escape the Vietnam War usually had no legal way to earn money there. So British Columbia became a stronghold of cannasseurs and has remained it to this day. You can get top-quality flowers and concentrates for little money (1G flower = $10 / 6.70 euros). As all of Canada, Vancouver is also an incredibly friendly city - people are polite here, swear words are often not heard or used here. Thanks to the proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the mostly Asian food is dominated by fish - in the most positive sense. Be prepared for sushi and the like from morning to night. And then there's Canada’s impressive nature. Vancouver is located directly on the North Shore Mountains - this mountain range invites you to go hiking or biking in the summer and is the perfect suburban ski resort in the winter. Pack your bags, head to Canada, and learn how beautiful life in a legalized country can be.

0,2 Lisbon

Photo by Dario Ciraulo on Unsplash

Portugal is the only location on our list where cannabis is not legally available. Thus, the most southwestern country in Europe only gets a 0,2 recommendation. Yes, all drugs are decriminalized in Portugal. However, you can't buy them legally. Since the Portuguese legal situation still does not allow growers to legally cultivate cannabis, often the only cannabis available here is Moroccan hashish or flowers grown by generous local residents. However, medical patients who can bring their own products experience dreamlike conditions in Portugal. For cannabis consumption, no one gets bothered in Portugal. As long as you use your brain and go to some secluded corners or, best of all, into nature to consume, you won't actually get into trouble. In terms of landscape and cuisine, Portugal is one of the great highlights within the EU. Months of mostly nice weather, the food is great and the locals are incredibly relaxed (outside the water). Endless beaches invite you to chill out or do sports - there’s a guarantee you will not get a chance to be lazy here.


Why does California not appear in this list?

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

California is great, no question about it. The newest breeds these days almost always come from the most southwestern state of the USA, the landscape is breathtaking and the people are very often pretty cool. But we evaluate our holiday recommendations not only according to the popularity of the locations but first and foremost according to their potential. and California quickly doesn't look so good there. The USA in general, and California in particular, are quite expensive from a European perspective. Whether it's going out to eat or buying flowers - you can quickly double or triple what you're used to in Europe. The national parks, undoubtedly a highlight of a visit to the USA, are still a danger zone for cannabis enthusiasts as of late 2021. So, for all our love of CA, we think there are more exciting places to visit. The cities mentioned above are also just the beginning - if you feel comfortable doing so, we can only advise everyone to go further and leave the familiar culture completely - for example, we are really looking forward to taking a road trip along the Moroccan Atlantic coast soon.

Tipps and Tricks

For cannasseurs who are used to Amsterdam standards, here are a few well-intentioned tips: 

  • Try it with a vaporizer or in any case tobacco-free. The purity and quality of hashish and flower in Spain, Canada, or Colorado are often so much higher than what you are used to in Amsterdam that switching to tobacco-free consumption is strongly advised.
  • Unfortunately, there are hardly any edibles in Spain due to the local legal situation. While Amsterdam’s coffeeshops will usually only tell you whether it is a hash brownie or one made of flower, Colorado and Canada offer extraordinary experiences. Here you can treat yourself with anything from a chocolate bar to a soft drink, sometimes even a multi-course dinner with cannabis. So plan a day out in nature with a delicious canna drink. The experience is not to be missed.
  • You can also listen to more info about some of these cities on the Pilchard's Potcast
  • More up-to-date info about the current legal situation in the Netherlands can be found at KeinWietpas. The guys and girls have been doing a first-class job for years and keep the German-speaking world up to date. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them!



We take great efforts to make only correct statements here. However, it is important to make clear that we are no lawyers and that these texts can therefore never be regarded as legal advice. For legally binding advice, please consult your lawyer.

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