Amsterdam has put forward the Amsterdam-East district to participate in the national experiment to regulate the cannabis chain for coffee shops, the municipality announced on Wednesday.
The project aims to assess the feasibility of legalizing the production, distribution and sale of cannabis. Although the Netherlands tolerates the sale of cannabis in coffee shops, its production and supply is still considered illegal. This so-called tolerance policy leads to coffee shops illegally buying weed through the back door, a situation that has consequences for crime, safety and public health.
State weed in capital
During the trial coffeeshops will sell regulated, quality-controlled cannabis produced by selected growers. The experiment is expected to start in the first quarter of 2024 and will run for 4 to 5,5 years. The Amsterdam mayor and the council of aldermen stated that it was important that the municipality of Amsterdam was involved in the experiment, because the results of the experiment could eventually lead to changes in the tolerance policy, which could have major consequences for the coffee shops and the cannabis market in Amsterdam. Amsterdam.
Later this year, the municipality wants to talk to the coffee shops in East Amsterdam about the future of the process.
Amsterdam was previously interested in participating in the trial, but that turned out to be impossible due to the large number of coffee shops in the city (166) and other strict criteria. The cabinet recently decided to allow city districts to participate. With more than 100.000 inhabitants and 10 coffee shops, Amsterdam East now meets the conditions to participate in the experiment.
The ministers of Justice and Security and of Health, Welfare and Sport must decide whether the Amsterdam East district can be included in the experiment. The other municipalities participating in the trial are Groningen, Almere, Arnhem, Nijmegen, Zaanstad, Hellevoetsluis, Breda, Tilburg, Maastricht and Heerlen.
National politicians have been discussing a regulated weed experiment for more than a decade. The national project has suffered many delays over the years after it first received majority support in parliament in 2016. Initially, the pilot project was supposed to start in autumn 2021, but it has been postponed several times.
Minister of Health Ernst Kuipers attributed this to the complexity of the regulations, but also emphasized the need for great diversity in the types of cannabis supplied to coffee shops. He also stressed the importance of maintaining consistently high quality and ensuring a constant supply.
Source: NLTimes (NEITHER)