The end of weed tourism in Amsterdam? Mayor wants to ban tourists from coffee shops

Thinking of coming to the Netherlands post-lockdown for smoking some grass? We might have some really bad news for you.

Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema will follow through with a plan to ban foreign tourists from coffee shops. 😱

She hopes to combat “drug nuisance” in Amsterdam with support from the chief of police and Public Prosecution Service, says RTL Nieuws.

A letter to the city council

The administrative “trifecta” says a lot of major problems in the city come from the cannabis market, including minor nuisances to crime and violence. 🚨

They want to introduce a “resident criterion” — which means foreign tourists will not be allowed to enter coffeeshops. ❌

Mayor Halsema initially launched this plan in January 2021 but following some investigations and discussions with the cannabis industry, she wants to follow through with this plan. 🍃

Resident criterion causes a stir

The resident criterion in particular led to some discussion. Some opponents say this restriction could lead to more illegal trade on the street.

The trifecta disagrees, saying a ban on selling weed to tourists is a necessary step towards slowing down and regulating the market.

The problems with the street trade are already noticeable in the city centre. Dealers hang out on the streets, harass visitors, and sometimes act aggressively, particularly in the Red Light District.

Quality marks and street dealing

Mayor Halsema wants to reduce and regulate the cannabis market by introducing quality marks that coffee shops must meet. Shops that follow extra rules with business operations, information, and transparency can receive such a quality mark. ✅

She also wants to handle street dealers more severely by taking their “day proceeds away” and giving restraining orders. Dealers will also be brought in front of judges much faster.

In the works

Although this might seem extreme for Amsterdam, the trifecta won’t go through this without some resistance.

The mayor will likely clash with the progressive parties including D66, GroenLinks, Bij1, and DENK, which oppose the introduction of this criterion, Het Parool reports.

The PvdA (Labour Party) offers some room for the mayor — the party is only in favour if the municipality guarantees the enforcement against street trade. Other parties including the VVD, CDA, and JA21 support the criteria.

In the meantime, the new city council must discuss the trifecta’s proposal before making a final decision.

What do you think of the implementation of this new tourist ban in coffee shops? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Third culture kid Katrien is a Philippine native living in the Netherlands to finish her master's degree in political communication. You can usually find her trying to organize everything on Notion and the sticky notes app, otherwise, she’s nose-deep in a good book or obsessing over film soundtracks and video games.


  1. How about a simple ban on marijuana with a three-year penalty in prison for possession? 15 years with possession with intent to sell.

    • Why?;?! This is like adopting old 80’s-90’s laws from the US! WHAT’S THE LOGIC BEHIND IT?!
      all of the world is going with legalization or other progressive solutions… But not in the NL, where dutch know it all think it’s a thing to cancel… Then we can read how the NL is open and progressive country..
      Clowns, specially the city mayor….
      Goodbye coffeeshops, hello street dealers 👍🏼

  2. Marijuana is just like alcohol. If you want to ban weed, you need to ban access to bars as well. Do we stop tourists from getting drunk next?

  3. I agree with Peter above. I have been a regular visitor to Amsterdam for many years now and I see far more trouble coming from tourists who are drunk than who have smoked marijuana.

    If the Mayor really wants to remove the nuisance element from tourists then she needs to ban them from drinking alcohol as well. Banning tourists from marijuana will not work on its own.

    Funny how it’s stated that tourists coming for marijuana don’t spend that much money in the city so they want to ban them yet the ones who come and drink loads of alcohol are welcomed even though they cause far more trouble. Why….because more money is raised from taxes on the alcohol they buy.

    What these people don’t realise is that all this will do is either drive the market underground in which case they will have the same problem as most major cities who don’t allow marijuana have or it will drive away a significant potion of the tourists who come to Amsterdam each year.

    Opinion polls show why tourists come to Amsterdam and it’s not for the tulips and cloggs. Tourists will stop coming as they can go to many other European countries and by alcohol cheaper than they can in Amsterdam.


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