Relaxed laws allow booming home grown market in Austria & Czech Republic
Dutch Passion have just got back from the ‘Cannafest’ fair in Prague (Czech Republic) and ‘Cultiva’ in Vienna (Austria). The cannabis growing community there are having a great time, laws there are relaxed and there are lots of people growing their own cannabis either for medicinal use or simply to enjoy. We often think of Southern Europe (Spain etc), Holland or the USA for having some of the most progressive canna-communities and weed-friendly laws. But these days the central and Eastern European market for home-grown cannabis has never been as big.
Cultiva Hemp Fair 2013.
The Czech Republic have decriminalised cultivation, possession, and transport of cannabis. The growing community gets bigger each year, more people than ever are growing a few plants completely legally. In the morning we were surprised to see how long the entry queue was, thousands of people were coming to the fair each day. The visitors were of all ages, young and old and there were lots of them. On the Dutch Passion stand it was normal for all our team to be busy all day selling seeds or chatting to customers, there was no time to rest.
Lots of cuttings on open display at Cultiva in Vienna
Most of the growers that we spoke with seemed to prefer greenhouses for growing. Our Greenhouse and Outdoor recommended varieties were popular as growers took the opportunity to stock up on seeds and just about anything else they wanted. Our most popular indoor variety was Mazar. We seemed to get a lot of questions about heavy Indica varieties. Also present were everyone from bong makers, vapouriser companies, nutrient suppliers etc. Customers were mostly Czech, but there were many from Russia, Germany, Austria, plenty of other Eastern Europeans and a few Brits.
The Police were there for a look but were never needed and were happy to leave the rest of us to enjoy the fair. The atmosphere was great. A Police officer took a copy of our catalogue which made us all laugh. The taxi drivers and hotel people all reacted positively when they found out we are a cannabis seed company. There was no stigma or raised eyebrows, in parts of central and Eastern Europe cannabis growing and use is accepted and normal. The atmosphere and attitude to cannabis in Prague seems to be like Spain, and I guess Washington and Colorado nowadays too. Dutch Passion will be back again next year. Alongside Spannabis (Barcelona) the Prague show is one of the busiest and best ones on the calendar.
Long queues every day at Cannafest in Prague
The Cultiva fair in Vienna, Austria, was also a big hit. A massive ‘mother plant’ took pride of place at the show and lots of seedlings were on display under grow lights inside the show. Again there were a huge number of visitors which shows how popular it has become to grow your own weed in modern Europe. One interesting observation was the large number of people that were managing to grow some of our ‘indoor’ varieties outdoors or in greenhouses. People were very relaxed, lots of people enjoyed smoking a joint outside the show. Lots of growers came and selected their seeds for their next grows. Again, the Dutch Passion team were busy all day and we spoke to lots of growers.
A short YouTube video from Jorge Cervantes about Cultiva Vienna
For Dutch Passion, going to a cannabis fair is more than just selling seeds. We use the opportunity to speak to regular customers, local activists, medical cooperatives and anyone involved in the cannabis community. In weed friendly countries like Czech Republic & Austria you get to meet a lot of very experienced growers that already know exactly what they like growing and they have the skills to grow very well. AutoFem varieties are popular over there too. There isn’t a debate about ‘AutoFem’s v traditional varieties’, the growers seem to accept and appreciate both types. These fairs are always a great chance for Dutch Passion to speak directly with customers and get their views on what they would like to see us developing in terms of traditional varieties, AutoFem’s, medical varieties and CBD–enriched strains. For companies like Dutch Passion the customer feedback is very important since it helps us decide what our customers are wanting in the future.
The Dutch Passion booth always seemed busy
Cannabis fairs are becoming better organised and better attended than ever before as the legal situation for cannabis continues to improve. We will continue to be present at them, if you get the chance to visit a canna-fair you will find it a day well spent. Most of the important suppliers tend to be present and the fairs are a chance for growers to speak directly to people within the canna industry. In one day you can pick up lots of contacts; everything from tent manufacturers, light suppliers, nutrients, growroom technology and of course seeds. The next big show will be Spannabis (Barcelona, February 2013) where around 170 companies will be exhibiting. Last year there were around 20,000 visitors and next time it will be 25,000+. We will be there and look forward to seeing you if you can make it, if not we will bring you the highlights, photo’s and video’s in our weekly blog.
Find me on facebook too!....https://www.facebook.com/joe.dutchpassion