Netherlands: Government recruits cannabis growers

Cannabis plant in the Netherlands. Getty Images / Christopher Furlong

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Cannabis growers will be able to apply in July to the Dutch government to legally supply some of the country's famous coffee shops, the Health Minister announced on Tuesday.


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The government had given the green light in 2018 to a large-scale experiment, authorizing ten municipalities to legally cultivate cannabis. The purpose of the experiment is to measure the effects of cannabis cultivation on crime, security, public order and health.

Applicant producers who wish to participate in the cannabis experiment can apply from July 1, 2020 until the 28th,  " said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

The government plans about six months to select ten producers according to specific criteria: a candidate's project must in particular provide for the production of at least 6,500 kg of dry hemp and a range of ten different varieties of hemp or hashish.

Five cannabis plants for each citizen

According to this government plan, which has received the approval of the State Council, the municipalities concerned will supervise over several years the cultivation of cannabis and its distribution to coffee shops, which will be able to sell it to customers.

The Netherlands decriminalized the sale of small amounts of cannabis - less than five grams - in 1976 and the law allows each citizen to legally cultivate five cannabis plants for personal use.

But growing and wholesaling marijuana remains banned, prompting hundreds of coffee shop owners to source supplies from organized crime to meet demand.

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  • Netherlands
  • Agriculture and Fisheries