The registration to trial legal cannabis cultivation has closed. 26 municipalities have now registered and none of these are any of the main cities in the Netherlands.
According to RTLNieuws, 26 have registered, none of which are the four main cities. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht had no interest in being part of the research because they did not like the design of this trial. According to RTLNieuws, Breda and Tilburg are two of the cities who have registered, however, the full list of municipalities that have put their names forward will not be released to the public at this stage.
All 26 municipalities will not be able to trial cannabis cultivation, therefore around 10 will be chosen to do so. They must first go through a panel and then the preparation may take another couple of years. If any law change is to happen, it’s not going to be any time soon.
What does the trial involve?
The weed experiment is basically a trial where municipalities grow their own cannabis and the cultivation is state-regulated. The experiment is to last 4 years and will be held in a maximum of 10 municipalities. These municipalities would hire growers which in turn would produce weed and hash and deliver this to coffee shops and then the coffee shops would distribute cannabis to the consumer.
RTL Nieuws reports that growers in the experiment must be able to grow at least ten types of cannabis and must be responsible for the transport and packaging of the soft drugs. Preparing for all this would take a year.
Joining the experiment means that market forces will soon determine the offer and price of the product. It’s also worth noting that the coffee shops participating in this trial phase will stock less than the present 500-gram limit.
The requirement that all coffee shops in a municipality must participate is unappealing to cities, however, it is necessary in order to decrease variables and to not interfere with the experiment. Municipalities could register for the experiment until June 11.
What are the current cannabis laws in the Netherlands?
It still stands that cannabis is decriminalised for purchasing small amounts from a coffeeshop. However, it is still illegal to cultivate cannabis. This results in a grey area with where the coffeeshops are purchasing their cannabis from. You can’t be sure where the cannabis comes from, or how good the quality is. As a result, these trials seemed like a positive step forward for Dutch drug policy.
It is hoped that these policy changes will help stamp out drug gangs. Drug gangs are the reason why licensed production is warranted and the local authorities have been calling for it for years. This change means that regulated cannabis cultivation may be the future for the Netherlands – but it seems like it’s going to be a while yet.
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