NL: Closed cannabis supply chain experiment most likely won't start this fall

It doesn't look like the closed cannabis supply chain trial will start this fall. Ten cities are participating in the trial. Marcouch, the mayor of Arnhem, told his city council that there are still too many uncertainties in his city. For example, the growers need more time to be able to supply good quality hash.

Like Groningen, Maastricht, Almere, and Breda, Arnhem is one of the ten cities participating in the trial. The four major cities are not participating because they did not agree with how the experiment was thought out.

According to Marcouch, in a meeting at the end of April with the ten participating municipalities and the ministers of Justice and Health, it became clear that not all cities could start in fall.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice does not want to use the word "delay" and points out the importance of a careful process with the strict requirements for growers.

VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie parties agreed in the coalition agreement that there would be an experiment with controlled cannabis cultivation. In August 2019, it was decided that ten municipalities would participate: Arnhem, Almere, Breda, Groningen, Heerlen, Hellevoetsluis, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Tilburg and Zaanstad. The experiment with the closed coffee shop chain, as it is officially called, should show whether it is possible to make the cultivation of cannabis legal.

Independent research must show the effect of the experiment on safety and public order and on public health.

Now coffee shops are illegally buying cannabis at the back door. This causes crime, nuisance and health problems. The experiment will last four years.

At the end of last year, ten growers were selected from about forty registrations to participate in the trial. Those growers have to go through a screening based on the Bibob Act. If no objections appear from the screening, the growers may actually participate in the trial.

If the growers can offer enough weed within the limits of the experiment, a start date can be chosen. That will differ per municipality, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice.


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