As surprising as it may sound, cannabis tourism in Amsterdam has been famous for decades, even though cultivation is banned in the Netherlands. Coffee shops are forced to illegally buy a product which they then legally sell without any problems.
Now the government is trying to eliminate the illegal cannabis market through a regulated marijuana production program, starting in 2023, to supply all coffee shops in 10 local municipalities. However, the owners of coffee shops oppose the measure.
Moreover, the mayor of Amsterdam wants Femke halsema continue plans to close the city's cannabis cafes or coffee shops to tourists, arguing that the move is the only option to control the local soft drug market.
Halsema told councilors last Monday that there is a worrying interdependence between the soft and hard drug trade and that “money from the lucrative cannabis trade easily finds its way into hard drugs”.
The mayor of Amsterdam launched a new anti-trafficking campaign, including warning signs, CCTV and using hosts to warn tourists of the risks in the city.
The action to keep tourists out of coffee shops is not supported by two of the largest parties in the city council, D66 and GroenLinks.