It is one of the most striking passages from the coalition agreement: there will be an experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation. However, the conditions set are so bad that many politicians and municipalities dismiss the 'weed test' almost immediately. Will it still happen in 2019?
The intended weed experiment encounters various problems. First, the set period of a maximum of four years. For companies that want to invest heavily in legal cannabis cultivation, this period is too short to earn back their investment. In addition, it is still uncertain whether there will be a follow-up after these four years if the test proves to be a success.
Participating coffee shops and municipalities
Also for participating coffee shops there are still many hooks and eyes. When they participate in the weed test, they are not allowed to sell anything other than Dutch state weed. That means a considerably smaller assortment, as a result of which customers walk away and go and get their weed elsewhere. And what if the test ends afterwards? Then coffee shop owners have lost all their trade.
And what about the 6 to 10 municipalities that are allowed to participate in the experiment at most. An advisory committee reported in the middle of last year that the cannabis experiment must be set up larger if it is to have a chance of success at all. It is still unclear what the experiment will look like. The Lower House is still waiting for a concrete cabinet plan.
State weed? Not really
Cities with lots of coffee shops don't queue to participate, to say the least. The experiment is also very sensitive in parliament. The CDA supports this trial, but not wholeheartedly. Member of Parliament Madeleine van Toorenburg previously called cannabis 'an assassin'. And it is known of Elco Brinkman, CDA party chairman in the Senate, that the weed test can be thrown away as far as he is concerned.
Plenary debate Experiment closed coffee shop chain
The plenary debate in the Lower House on the experiment closed coffee shop chain (34997) takes place on Thursday 17 January at 10: 45. The rules on a uniform experiment with the cultivation and sale of hemp and hashish for recreational use in a closed coffee shop chain are discussed here.
The latest developments regarding the weed test and other current events can be found at Drugsinc. Read more about the experiment in the column by Kaj Hollemans.