Amsterdam wants to participate in the Dutch legal cannabis experiment

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The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, informed the Dutch government earlier this week that the city wanted to participate in the legal cannabis experiment, which allows the legal production of cannabis for certain coffeeshops in a municipality.

Amsterdam is now considering which district could participate in the national experiment. The Amsterdam triangle, made up of the mayor, the general prosecutor and the chief of police, agreed in January to take part in the experiment. It should start in 2024, with an exception for the cities of Tilburg and Breda from October 2023.

Amsterdam wants to participate in the cannabis trial as the eleventh municipality, but with only one urban district

Initially, ten Dutch municipalities could take part in the experiment. Amsterdam has expressed interest several times in the past, but participation proved impractical due to the large number (166) of coffee shops in the city.

The government is now preparing an extension of the experiment to include an eleventh municipality. The experimentation amendment that would make this possible is currently being considered by the Lower House.

Amsterdam explains its desire to participate with a single district in particular by the size of the city:

“The size and population of several districts in Amsterdam make them suitable for participating in the experiment. Amsterdam is now in talks with the ministries of J&V and VWS on further details. The municipality will soon start discussions with the districts and the coffee shop sector about the proposed participation. The goal is to select a district for the experiment in May. »

Why is Amsterdam an exception?

When setting up the wietexperiment, we already knew that if a district wanted to participate, all the coffee shops in the district had to participate. An exception will therefore seem to be made for Amsterdam, which will select a district and a certain number of coffees.

Experimenting with legal production for coffeeshops, now supplied by the black market, should clarify whether it is possible to supply coffeehouses with quality-controlled cannabis in a “closed chain” and in a regulated manner. It will study in detail the effects on public order, crime and public health.

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