The cannabis experiment is now really starting in Tilburg and Breda

The cannabis experiment netherlands

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First legal weed in Brabant coffee shops starting today in Breda (Netherlands), the city where WeeDutch is based. As a fully vertically integrated European supplier of high-quality, compliant, and rigorously laboratory-tested cannabinoids, WeeDutch eagerly anticipates this experiment.

After more than five years of preparations, the sale of the first legally grown cannabis in the Netherlands begins today in Breda. This new phase of the ‘weed experiment’ starts at nineteen coffee shops in Breda and Tilburg.

They will sell weed from three legal cultivators. Over the next six months, the coffee shops and growers, along with transporters and regulators, will gain initial experience in selling regulated cannabis.

“We’ve been waiting for this for over 40 years,” says Ed Pattché from Paradijs coffee shop in Breda. He looks forward to bidding farewell to the ‘back door’ and being able to purchase cannabis as a fully legal product.

The regulated weed will be delivered today via secure transport. According to Pattché, the cannabis is of good quality and free from pesticides.

Despite this, the sale of illegally cultivated weed will still be permitted for the time being in Breda and Tilburg. Hence, apart from purchasing from the official, legal cultivators, coffee shops can still buy from their old, illegal suppliers. Customers will have the choice for a few more months.

After the trial phase in Brabant, the sale of legal weed will be further expanded. Ten cultivators have received government permission to grow cannabis. However, for various reasons, they are not all ready to start the ‘weed experiment’ yet. Ultimately, they will supply to coffee shops in eleven different municipalities.


cannabis legall netherlands

500 grams

Several coffee shop owners still have concerns about the amount of legal weed they can have during the trial phase: a maximum of 500 grams. According to them, this is too little, which means a lot of back and forth and a risk of the regulated cannabis occasionally being sold out.

Only when the experiment is fully operational will different rules apply. Coffee shops will then be allowed to have a trade stock for a week. Eventually, they will also be permitted to sell only legally cultivated cannabis. Border municipalities will also only be allowed to sell to people residing in the Netherlands.

Today, outgoing Minister Kuipers (Health) will scan the first box of regulated cannabis in a Breda coffee shop. Businesses must meticulously track their purchases and sales. The origin of all sold weed will be precisely known. However, customer personal data will not be recorded.

Long wait

The weed experiment has taken a long time to materialize. It was approved by the Senate as far back as 2019, but its launch was repeatedly postponed for various reasons. In February, the government chose to start with a limited number of cultivators in Tilburg and Breda.

Coffee shops can now sell weed, but the purchase is simultaneously prohibited. As a result, coffee shop owners are reliant on illegal suppliers. Some municipalities and a portion of the Parliament find this a peculiar situation. That’s why the previous cabinet decided to experiment with the legalization of the ‘back door’ as well.

The cannabis experiment is now really starting in Tilburg and Breda

Paradox Dutch  policy concerning coffee shops in the past

The Dutch tolerance policy towards cannabis, especially in the context of coffee shops, has long been a paradoxical tale in the global narrative of drug regulation. These establishments, while permitted to openly sell cannabis products, were paradoxically barred from legally acquiring their merchandise. This glaring discrepancy has led to a convoluted situation, inadvertently fostering criminality and compromising essential quality standards within the industry.

The stark irony of allowing the sale of a product while prohibiting its legal acquisition has proven to be a double-edged sword for the Netherlands. While the intent behind the tolerance policy was to mitigate the negative effects associated with illicit drug trades, it paradoxically facilitated an underground market for the supply of cannabis to these coffee shops. This peculiar legal loophole inadvertently bolstered criminal networks and hindered the regulation and control that a legal framework could have ensured.

Moreover, this disjointed system resulted in a concerning lack of oversight over the quality of cannabis being sold. Without proper channels for legal procurement, there was minimal control over the sourcing and cultivation processes. This compromised the quality of the product available in these shops, and more alarmingly, posed potential health risks due to the absence of stringent quality checks and increased chances of pesticide contamination.

However, amidst these longstanding discrepancies, the initiation of the current experimental phase is a welcome and crucial step forward. By allowing legal cultivation and supply, this initiative aims to rectify the inherent flaws in the previous policy. The upcoming changes signify a potential shift towards a more coherent and regulated approach that not only prioritizes public health and safety but also aims to curtail illicit activities associated with the cannabis trade.

In essence, while the historical quirks of the Dutch tolerance policy have posed challenges and raised concerns, the ongoing experimental changes represent a beacon of hope. They mark the potential dawn of a new era, one where the industry can be better regulated, ensuring higher-quality products and a safer environment for consumers and society at large.

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