Biggest cities in the Netherlands not keen on ‘going dutch’ with cannabis trials in coffee shops

The Netherlands experiment wants to legitimize cannabis, but many coffee shops in large cities are not interested

Comments

In an effort to bring coffee shops over to the legal side of the market, the country created a four-year program to legitimize how these businesses source their weed repistu / iStock / Getty Images Plus

In the Netherlands, coffee shops where cannabis can be purchased and consumed are known around the world. Many attribute the more recent progress in international moves towards legalization to the pioneering efforts of the Dutch cannabis industry.

Despite their profile, cannabis coffee shops in the Netherlands are part of the illicit market, obtaining their products from illegal sources. In an effort to address this issue, and to bring coffee shops over to the legal side of the market, the country created a four-year program to legitimize how these businesses source their weed.

The weed experiment, or Wietexperimentwas designed to address the grey area between council-licensed coffee shops and illicit growth and supply. The plan would allow for 10 licensed producers to legally grow and distribute cannabis to Dutch coffee shop participants, where they would, in turn, sell and serve their customers with the product. The issue is that some of the cities, where the largest coffee shops are located, are not interested in program, citing too many problems with the process.

“This experiment is too little, too late”, Kaj Hollemans, a drug policy consultant told to Marijuana Business Daily

The trial period, which has no extension contingency, would force participating coffee shops back into the illicit market after four years of facilitating legal sales, something that holds little appeal for many businesses. The experiment also requires the businesses to exclusively purchase from an assigned supplier, leaving the coffee shops open to supply issues, lack of product variety and, potentially, loss in sales.

In a statement, Mayor of Eindhoven John Jorritsma begrudgingly joined The Hague and Amsterdam in rejecting the terms and conditions of the proposed experiment. Jorritsma originally expressed interest when the trial was announced, but pulled out when the details were outlined.

The deadline for being involved in the experiment was June 11, 2019, leaving the Netherlands effort to legalize cannabis in limbo.

 

Want to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world of cannabis?  Subscribe to the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network.

Comments

We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse.