The agricultural university of Wageningen (WUR) would like to participate in the closed coffee shop chain experiment, which should start in 2019. That's what Eric Poot of the WUR, botany team leader at the university says.
“We would like to play a role in this,” says the team leader. "I also think it is wise to involve research institutions like ours in the experiment, because we can take cultivation to a higher level: more sustainable, safer and healthier."
Experiment with legal cannabis cultivation
The 'closed coffee shop chain' experiment is being held at ten municipalities, which have yet to be selected. Those municipalities will then receive a permit to legally grow cannabis for the coffee shops.
Now weed cultivation is still illegal, while the use and sale of cannabis is tolerated. In recent decades, illegal cultivation has increasingly become the field of activity of criminal organizations that do not shun gross violence. With the experiment, politicians hope to solve that problem.
Wageningen University in the weed
Eric Poot's botanical team does not come forward for nothing. The team has been conducting research into the cultivation of cannabis for two years on behalf of a globally operating lighting company. A lot of scientific knowledge of the plant has been built up in this way. The research takes place in a greenhouse at a secret location.
“We are working on medicinal cannabis and examining the plant in a greenhouse, where there is also sunlight,” explains the team leader. “It is important that the plant supplies constant amounts of THC and CBD (the active ingredients of cannabis, ed.). We try to use the light in such a way that we can compensate for the sunlight, so that we can always produce the same level with sunlight.”
Special permit from the government
Wageningen has a special exemption from the government for research into medicinal cannabis. They are allowed to grow the weed, but their knowledge must not leak to the illegal circuit, according to the permit that has been granted. Still, the knowledge is used by the client in Canada, where cannabis cultivation is now legal.
Poot: “Yes, that's right, but what the company does with it abroad is not something we will discuss. That is up to the company itself. ” According to the Public Prosecution Service, cannabis cultivation and the supply of goods and services to cultivation in the Netherlands are punishable. But delivering to countries where it is legal is not punishable.
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