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"it's a huge gamble"

Cannabis growers followed in their path to legal Dutch cultivation in new documentary

After years of discussion and anticipation, the Experiment Closed Coffeeshop Chain, announced in 2019, has finally begun. This prompted filmmaker Frans Bromet, after his earlier pessimistic documentary from three years ago—where he expressed doubts about the experiment's success—to produce a second part. In this sequel, he follows several participating growers.

In "Legale Wiet 2," Bromet follows three cannabis growers as they build their cannabis farms: Fred van de Wiel; John and Ines Meijers with Jetze de Raad; and Maikel.

The documentary maker also examines cannabis cultivation in California with Dutch grower Hans. Bromet marvels at the costly plans in the Netherlands and points out that the era of lucrative cannabis ventures in North America is largely over.

Maikel takes Frans to a new construction site in South Holland, detailing big plans for growing, packaging, producing pre-rolled joints, cakes, and hash. He emphasizes that it is an expensive project and calls it "a huge gamble."

The biggest problems facing the growers and sellers are supply stocks and the complexity of the track-and-trace system. Every movement of cannabis must be registered, which is almost impossible with a malfunctioning computer system. Thus, four years after the announcement, the future of the experiment remains highly unpredictable, Bromet observes.

The experiment is set to last four years, and the question is whether the investments will be recouped by then. The experiment started in December 2023, and the so-called transition phase begins this month. Bromet concludes his documentary by predicting that the trial will be fully launched in September 2024. Currently, legal weed is only available in Breda and Tilburg, and not all ten authorized growers are in production. Bromet notes that there are only 2.5 producing growers at the moment.

You can read more about the government's plans for the trial here.

Watch part 2 of documentary 'Legal weed' here.