The Netherlands is trying out legalisation...carefully, Source: Depositphotos

Pilot project: Ten Dutch municipalities start selling regulated cannabis today

Pilot project: Ten Dutch municipalities start selling regulated cannabis today

The trial phase of this transition from toleration to regulated legalization will last three months

Today begins the official three-month period during which coffeeshops in ten selected Dutch municipalities can sell both tolerated and regulated (legal) cannabis. The trial phase tentatively began at the end of last year with only two participating cities: Breda and Tilburg, but now eight more municipalities have joined to round up the experimental programme.

These are the other participating cities: Groningen, Zaanstad, Almere, Arnhem, Nijmegen, Voorne aan Zee, Heerlen, and Maastricht. In all of them, consumers can head to coffeeshops and buy legal and regulated cannabis, which will come from certified multiple growers providing a range and diversity in products.

Initially, the involved coffeeshops were not allowed to have more than 500 grams of regulated cannabis, but that limit was later increased to a week’s supply.

Cutting illegal cannabis trade

The aim of the Dutch government is to finally do something concrete about the flourishing cannabis trade which has been stuck in a grey-area limbo for decades. Contrary to popular perception, cannabis is not legal in the country. The numerous coffeeshops that exist in Dutch cities were a compromise, and a temporary solution that would sell illegal marijuana products and as long as consumption would take place on their premises law enforcement would turn a blind eye and tolerate them.

The new pilot project seeks to bring the cannabis trade out in the open since its continuing shadow production and trade brews organized crime activities and anti-social behaviour in its wake. And that is something that the initiative seeks to end. The aim is to also provide a safer product to consumers, who would be informed about its origin and composition.

The Dutch move comes amid a general trend of decriminalising the use of cannabis around the world, with recent moves in Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.



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