Netherlands’ experiment with legal cannabis cultivation expands

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The Netherlands’ famous marijuana-selling “coffee shops” in eight more cities can acquire regulated cannabis from licensed growers as an ongoing experiment with legal production expands.

As of Monday, as many as 80 coffee shops in 10 Holland cities can acquire cannabis from three licensed suppliers currently participating in the country’s “wietexperiment,” a historic trial with a licensed supply chain, DutchNews reported.

The Netherlands was for generations a destination for cannabis users worldwide thanks to the famous marijuana coffee shops, which existed thanks to a combination of lax enforcement and permissive attitudes.

However, cultivation remained illegal, creating risk for producers and uncertainty for consumers.

The ongoing experiment with a licensed and regulated supply chain began last December after several delays.

For the first time, cannabis cultivators can operate legally.

Coffee-shop customers can use a QR code legally grown product to access information such as which company grew the product and when it was grown.

Until Monday, three cultivators were delivering cannabis to coffee shops in the cities of Breda and Tilburg.

Coffee shops in eight additional cities are now also eligible for the pilot program:

  • Almere.
  • Arnhem.
  • Groningen.
  • Heerlen.
  • Maastricht.
  • Nijmegen.
  • Voorne aan Zee (formerly named Hellevoetsluis).
  • Zaanstad.

The pilot program runs until 2028.

Amsterdam, the country’s largest city, was denied participation in the experiment.

Early stages of the program worked out issues such as a 500-gram limit on how much product coffee shops were allowed to maintain on hand.

Now, limits are set by each city’s mayor.