After the swinging sixties, Amsterdam welcomed its first coffeeshop in 1972, on the Weesperzijde. It was a logical consequence of an ever growing group of friends and friends of friends who shared the same hobby: smoking hashish and marijuana. In those days they didn't call it a coffeeshop, it was called a teahouse. The owner and founder of the first teahouse, named Wernerd, made history without even knowing it.

They dared to gamble and opened a shop called Mellow Yellow. Our government didn't do anything because they ware advised by experts that heroin and other hard drugs were much more dangerous and that softdrugs could keep people from using these heavy drugs. Of course there were places in Amsterdam other than Mellow Yellow were you could buy hashish like the Melkweg, Paradiso and other places were lots of youth gathered, but the problem was that the dealers at these places also sold harddrugs.

 The real success was the coffeeshop. There was still no competition, the quality was good and the narcotic department of the Amsterdam Police force consisted of six cops driving en old VW-beetle. Mellow Yellow was so successful that they decided to close during the day. Six o'clock in the evening, every pot smoker in Amsterdam knew, was the time to arrive at Mellw.

Whenever somebody is successful in business, others soon follow. After 1975 the coffeeshop business started to grow. The most famous example of this is without doubt The Bulldog, established in 1975 by Henk de Vries in a former sexhouse in the Red Light district. Henk concentrated on another segment of the market, not only did he aim for the old fashioned hippie who had known pot for tens of years, he aimed for the man in the street. For this reason, de Vries still calls his shop the first reel coffee shop. In those days the demand for marijuana was booming and it arrived with shiploads from Colombia, Indonesia and other exotic countries: Dutch business sense was flourishing.

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