Marijuana growers selected to participate in the government's controlled cultivation trials have informed the cabinet that they will not be ready to start early next year as the government plans.
Nine out of ten companies have written to ministers about the problems. The cannabisexperimentt should have started in 2021, but now had to start in the second quarter of 2023.
Big flop cannabis experiment
The participating growers indicate that the end of next year is a more likely date for the start of the cannabis experiment. The aim of the project launched five years ago is to limit the gray area and illegal cultivation. Coalition party D66 was particularly enthusiastic about the plan, which MPs say would reduce the role of organized crime in the soft drug circuit.
However, unrealistic demands were placed on growers for the cannabis experiment, causing fewer and fewer cities to feel the need to participate in the trial. Ultimately, ten cities were selected for the trial: Arnhem, Almere, Breda, Groningen, Heerlen, Hellevoetsluis, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Tilburg and Zaanstad. Ten growers have signed up to supply various cannabis products.
Concerns at banks and high energy prices
Some of the growers have so far been unable to obtain a bank account due to bank concerns about money laundering and supporting criminal behaviour. High energy prices, supply-side delays and problems with the track and trace system that will monitor where the marijuana products go and are sold are also causing problems.
Ministers told NRC in a response that they are in talks with banks about bank accounts and that they do not share the concerns about the tracking system. More information about the trial will be published in December. Germany just announced plans to legalize cannabis for recreational use, which could set a precedent for the rest of Europe.
Germany vs Netherlands
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the German road to legalization differs substantially from that of the Netherlands. Because the Netherlands still criminalizes cultivation and sale. According to him, the Dutch model has two drawbacks: liberal use without a controlled market.
"What we have learned from the Dutch experience is that we don't want to do it that way," Lauterbach said in The Guardian. “We want to control the entire market.” A year ago, nearly 40 Dutch mayors, mostly from the south of the Netherlands, signed a manifesto calling on the government to legalize soft drugs as part of a campaign to tackle organized crime.
Source: dutchnews.nl (EN)