Over the years Dronkers has founded, and continues to run, various cannabis and hemp related enterprises. These include HempFlax, one of Europe's largest producers and processors of industrial hemp; the Cannabis Gene Bank responsible for preserving medicinal grade cannabis strains approved by the Dutch government; the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, open since 1985, a permanent exhibition about the history and uses of the cannabis plant; and the Hash Marihuana Cáñamo & Hemp Museum in Barcelona.
Who organizes the Cannabis Culture Awards?
The Cannabis Culture Awards are an initiative of Dutch entrepreneur and philanthropist Ben Dronkers. Amongst many things, Dronkers is director of the Hash Marihuana & Hemp museums in Amsterdam and Barcelona, which present a permanent exhibition on the history and use of cannabis around the world. Both museums organize and host the award ceremonies.
As a young man in the early 1970s, Ben Dronkers gradually began what was to become a life-long quest to unlock the potential of the cannabis plant to improve the quality of human life everywhere.
Ben's quest brought him into contact with many people who shared and appreciated his vision, but also with cynical media, terrible oppression and mounting costs caused by prohibition in different parts of the world.
As the fame of the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum spread, it became a point of contact for people working towards an end to the prohibition of cannabis, and a recognition of the worldwide reality of cannabis culture.
Inspired by this, Ben decided that the Museum should reward those people and help bring them into the public eye at the same time. In 2004 the Cannabis Cultuur Prijs was inaugurated by the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, and in 2012 it was presented for the first time as the Cannabis Culture Awards.