By Herbert M. Green
There was a time when smoking a joint was a communal affair, a mini social happening so to speak. People would huddle up in a group and share a single joint. These welcome events were often moments to strengthen bonds and make new friends. Unfortunately, this practice has gone somewhat out of style over the years and has been replaced by a more individual experience. At least, in most Dutch coffeeshops I have explored in the last few years.
Luckily there is a place where we can rediscover this stoned social gathering, and sample some free, high-quality strains to boot! Want to know the who, what and where? Read on!
The Live Smoke Session is the brainchild of THCommelier Tony Balboa and Profess Harvest, in conjunction with their employer, Coffeeshop Boerejongens and Seedbank Amsterdam Genetics. They organize multiple small group sessions a week, where you get to sample a variety of high-quality weed and hash. Besides that, you get to meet new people, engage in stimulating conversation and share in your mutual adoration of the cannabis plant.
Getting baked in style!
It’s a perfect sunny Sunday afternoon when I arrive at Coffeeshop Boerejongens Center, in Amsterdam’s Utrechtsestraat. I’m a bit early, so I decide to soak up some of the last sun rays before I have to go upstairs, where the Smoke Session will be held. It’s not long before the man himself, Tony Balboa, the Smoke Session’s master of ceremony, meets me at the front door. He is still reeling from the previous session, which had just ended and invites me to wait in the upstairs smoking lounge. The stylish and cozy interior of the room strikes me as a combination of a posh 1930’s cigar club and an old school apothecary. Usually, this smoking lounge is open to the public, but today it is solely reserved for our private group session. It’s always nice to feel like a VIP!
The other guests arrive shortly after and I am introduced to Dave and Desiree Baker, a wise couple from Hawaii and Sven, a fellow Dutchy. Coincidently, it’s the first time in the history of the Smoke Session, that two unacquainted Dutchies are attending the event, according to our host Tony. Apparently, most of the participants of these sessions are from abroad.
The Tony Show!
Speaking of the host, Tony Balboa’s open and amicable demeanor gives me the impression that this afternoon will be anything but boring. His energy and high spirit are infectious!
As soon as we sit down in the comfortable leather chairs, we get right down to business! Tony lets us examine the strains on today’s menu; a lovely fragrant Tangerine G13 indica, my favorite sativa Amazing Haze and a block of Kosher Tangie hash.
The Volcano vaporizer is working overtime as we puff away balloon after balloon, while MC Tony happily chatters on relentlessly about the characteristics of the various strains we’re vaping. While cannabis is the main topic of conversation, it’s not the only subject. Politics, religion, sociology and personal backgrounds make the round and let us get to know each other better in a short amount of time. Mostly though, it is our host Tony that steals the show. He is obviously a born entertainer! Especially when he starts the live broadcast that he does every session.
Baked like Sunday afternoon
What was supposed to be a two-hour session, quickly turned into three and at the end of the day I can hardly believe how baked I am! It was truly a great way to spend my Sunday afternoon and I would recommend it to everyone! If that sounds like something you want to be a part of, I suggest you sign up for the closed Facebook group Smoke Sessions Amsterdam or head over to the Amsterdam Genetics website to book your spot on the guestlist. You won’t regret it!