For the first time in the Netherlands, cannabis smokers can buy legally grown cannabis. The first phase of the so-called cross-border cannabis trial will begin in Tilburg and Breda (North Brabant province) on Friday. Cafes in both cities may continue to sell permitted products in addition to cannabis from three currently legal growers.
In the coming period, we will look at what the concerned parties face before starting to experiment with cannabis at the national level. About ten municipalities participate in this. Tilburg Mayor Theo Witterings therefore spoke of an “experiment within an experiment”, which should last a maximum of six months.
Cafes are still allowed to participate on a voluntary basis. According to the municipality of Breda, all eight shops participate equally. In Tilburg this concerns six of the eleven shops. According to a municipal spokesman, the rest will likely follow early next year.
And also in the rest of the Netherlands
The national trial, which will last at least four years, is expected to begin this summer, although there is still a transition phase in between. In addition to Tilburg and Breda, Arnhem, Almere, Groningen, Heerlen, Voorn aan Zee, Maastricht, Nijmegen and Zaanstad are also participating in the official cannabis trial. In addition, there is also an intention for Amsterdam to partner with the Amsterdam-Oost region.
Cannabis testing has already been postponed several times. During the real trial, only cafés in participating municipalities are allowed to sell controlled cannabis. They then have a choice of ten farmers.
In the Netherlands, cannabis is still purchased illegally “through the back door” by coffee shops, causing crime, nuisance and health problems. However, sales to customers are tolerated.
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