Which U.S. City Deserves the Nickname as the “New Amsterdam”?

This is a fair question worth asking, so let’s jump right into it. The choice by a city or region in the United States to use a nickname such as the New Amsterdam specifically for marketing of legalized cannabis sales potentially could cause all kinds of legal entanglements. And we don’t want those nasty outcomes to befall anyone, now do we?

I wrote a 2019 online commentary which clearly expresses my solid belief that this cannabis sales marketing nickname rightfully belongs to Las Vegas, Nevada and not to other U.S. venues where cannabis consumers legally can shop. So, my particular bias is out there in plain view for everyone to see.

The Original Amsterdam

The photograph included here shows a cannabis coffee shop located in the picturesque city of Amsterdam. This venue may be unfamiliar to you. Perhaps you may not have paid sufficient attention during world geography classes in elementary school. Perhaps you or your parents did not value studying anything beyond a typically limited circle that surrounded you during your formative years. Either way, you may already have missed out due to rigid beliefs from not having a sufficiently open mind.

Try to catch up. The original Amsterdam is located in the European country known as Netherlands. Cannabis coffee shops are only one of the many attractions that stimulates tourism to this Old World city which got started in the late 12th century. Much later in the New World, a colony was established on Manhattan Island in the 17th century and that was given the name of New Amsterdam. If only they somehow had managed to retain that very cool name, nobody today would be discussing who should own the marketing rights.

Very Cool Name

Of course, the coolness or trendiness or desirability of the name New Amsterdam is a more recent sensibility. In 2007 the name Oaksterdam University—a mash-up of Oakland and Amsterdam— was chosen for the first cannabis college in the U.S. in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Fast forward to 2019 and think about whether there has been any trademarking of this very cool name. A Las Vegas cannabis dispensary uses the brand name New Amsterdam Naturals and so does a Los Angeles dispensary. There is also a Portland, OR cannabis dispensary named The New Amsterdam.

Marketing Value of a Nickname

The original Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Las Vegas, Nevada share three similarities:

  • a worldwide reputation as particularly desirable tourism destinations
  • casino gambling
  • retail cannabis sales

To me, these three similarities point to the marketing value of the nickname the New Amsterdam being claimed by Las Vegas, Nevada.

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