Well folks, I am happy to report that mushrooms are not the only thing that makes people go crazy and jump into the canals of Amsterdam... apparently, the Dutch like their futbol as much as they like their ganja!


As if this couldn't be a more lucrative trip, I find myself here amidst the 2008 Euro Cup - a Cup almost as prestigous as the Cannabis Cup here in November and one which has seen the Netherlands win their first two matches to advance to the quater-finals... but i digress, back to the buds.


After a week of touring the urban grow scene (which is strikingly similar to a lot of what we see in U.S. cities) there are some big plantation visits on the horizon as well as few rooms that boast over 600 plants. Make sure to follow the three-part series, "Road to the Cup", beginning with our October issue on stands this August. Each story will feature previews of what's to come for this year's Cannabis Cup as well as a few travel tips for your total Amsterdam experience!


That brings me to a few questions submitted by our loyal readers. First, Richard - thanks for posting. About the smoking ban, the ban pertains to tobacco-only smoking and it goes into effect this August. Patrons of clubs, bars and coffee shops are still allowed to role mixed-joints, or spliffs, with tobacco and weed (or hash which is how the Dutch prefer it). So the expo at the Power Zone will be smoked-out as usual. No worries, amigo!


And next, FreeinSD, I wouldn't worry too much about those rumors. There's always a rotten apple in the group that will do something stupid like keif out a bunch of kilos before selling buds, but for the most part the coffee shops within the city of Amsterdam are legit. Certain shops are even affilated with some of the larger, more reputable seed companies of Amsertdam and sell their buds at top quality. They have to otherwise they'd lose their dealer! Prices reflect quality, where a gram of the Cannabis Cup winning strains such as G13- Haze or Crimea Blue can run up to 16 Euros. Keep in mind the U.S. dollar is weak now as well, so it gets pricey. But it is worth it. For an extra value, go for an award-winning hashish which will get the job done proper.


Recommened coffe shops to check out (based soley on my first week here and which I barely remember) include; Betty Boop Coffeshop, The Green Place, The Rokery, Amnesia and Barney's Coffee Shop.


Keep postin' the Qs amigos and don't forget to water your plants... which reminds me - can some one at HIGH TIMES HQ water my aloe plant on my desk? Mucahs gracias!