I met with Jessica Mills, at The Amsterdam Exchange off of Lake City Highway. She is the one in charge of preparing The Amsterdam Exchange, for its’ grand opening on the 17th of May. Although Mills has been extremely busy (she has a personal pr assistant) her persona was jubilant and full of joy. But who wouldn’t be in such good spirits, knowing they were about to gift a city with an Amsterdam themed medical marijuana farmers market, and an upcoming night club venue for the recreational marijuana crowd?
I have been tracking this unfolding story ever since I learned of this project. Simply because, Amsterdam is one of my favorite places on earth. I visited the eclectic Dutch city for the first time about 10 years ago and was so inspired, I returned multiple times ever since. In fact, I even consider those aged cobblestone streets my second home.
The unassuming 2-story building which houses The Amsterdam Exchange, sits next to a German styled 1-story building. Although not as obvious as its’ German styled counterpart, The dwelling does have hints of German and/or European influence.
The first floor consists of a lounge area for medical marijuana patients to hang out and consume herb, a small space for a few vendors, a full service kitchen, and space for a food buffet to keep guests and hard-working vendors fed.
The second floor will consist of a dab bar, and a huge room where the majority of the medical marijuana vendors will set up shop. Mills specifically pointed out the brand new custom made cannabis display cabinets. Interestingly, the cabinets could easily be converted into lounge tables, and the entire room transformed into a night club, specifically for the recreational marijuana crowd. The room can also be rented out for special events.
But what is making this place magical, is the painter Jewels Hawkins, who prefers to be called Jewelz. Using his abilities, this Seattle based artist is covering the walls with his interpretation of Amsterdam. And doing a damn good job.
Painted stone bridges arching over canals, grace the first floor walls. Abstract accents and colorful ceiling tiles, captures the urban vibe of the Dutch city. According to Jewelz, he had not even begun to apply the details and finishing touches. Really? He could have fooled me.
On the second floor, Jewelz had started painting the famous Amsterdam canal houses on a rich sky blue background. These houses were being composed around existing mirrors, which created a rather interesting composition. As he was applying his craft, I couldn’t help notice the large mood board full of printed references of canal houses, propped up against a cabinet. It was very apparent that Jewelz and Mills put a lot of time and thought into the the creative direction.
The Amsterdam Exchange Farmers Market is scheduled to open on May 17 at 10am, and will be open 7 days a week from 10am-8pm. The farmers market is for medical marijuana patients only and you must bring proper identification.
There will be a pre-opening Combustion Party on the evening of May 16, at 8pm. Expect several musical guests and Dj’s, meds and food. You are encouraged to bring your own glass and rigs to the dab station where you can show it off and fire it up.
The Amsterdam Exchange night club and lounge, for the recreational marijuana crowd, is expected to open in less than a month and a half. We will keep you up to date as the time nears.
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