The day has finally come. Today, after years of developments and multiple delays, the first legal adult-use cannabis has been sold at coffeeshops in the Netherlands. But not everywhere. During the start-up phase of the Closed Coffeeshop Chain Experiment, the legal products will only be available in select coffee shops in the cities of Breda and Tilburg.

Three growers
"This is a day we have long been waiting for," says Kyron Pattche of the coffeeshop Het Paradijs in Breda. "Our owner has been in the industry for 40 years and has been working towards this day the whole time. Now, we're finally able to sell a legal product and become a legal store."

Currently, three growers are supplying the coffeeshops with legal product. So, how much variety is available? "In practice, things are a bit more challenging than they may seem. We have a limit of 500 grams of legal product that we can have. So while the growers have lots of different varieties available, we can't sell all of those at the same time," Kyron says. "At the moment, we have 2 varieties of the grower Fyta, and we will receive two more later today from grower CanAdelaar. With those 4 varieties, we hope to make a good start and introduce legal cannabis to the consumer."

According to Kyron, having a legal product is a major benefit for the coffeeshops. "The products are tested, so we can guarantee that there are no pesticides used, for example. We've always tried as much as possible to have high-quality products in our assortment, but it's never been possible for us to 100% guarantee that it is a clean product until now."

Surprising interest, but still some concerns
Kyron says that they've sold a surprising amount already today. "A lot of our regular customers were very curious about the new legal products. So far, the feedback has been positive. At the same time, some customers were suspicious. The media often labeled it as 'state weed,' but that is not fully the case. These are private growers that are only monitored by the government. It's an unjust label that we should get rid of so that consumers will be more open to trying legal cannabis. I've noticed that when I give an explanation, the suspicious consumer will usually end up giving it a try and come back with positive feedback. Overall, today is going surprisingly well," Kyron says.

Challenging regulations
Even though it's just the first day, the coffeeshop has already run into some challenges surrounding the strict regulations. "We're trying to work out how to best deal with the supply of legal product because we have the 500-gram limit. The way it currently works is that we get 500 grams early in the morning and an extra delivery late in the afternoon. Let's say that the extra delivery is for 100 grams, it means that at least 100 grams has to have been sold that day. If not, we have to decline the order, but we might run out later in the day. That's a regulation that could be changed to make things easier for the coffeeshops. But it's just the first day, of course. These are the things that we'll learn along the way," Kyron says.