10 Dutch municipalities to participate in government-grown weed pilot
The government is going to start trialling government-grown weed in 2021 and ten Dutch municipalities, the max number agreed on in the coalition agreement, will be taking part. This state-grown weed trial was put in the coalition agreement at the request of the political party D66.
Cultivating cannabis is illegal
At this moment in time, cultivating and delivering cannabis to coffee shops is illegal. Sale of it is however tolerated under certain conditions. In 2021, the government wants to start trialling government-cultivated weed. This trial will be carried out in 10 municipalities: Tilburg, Almere, Breda, Groningen, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Arnhem, Zaanstad, Heerlen and Hellevoetsluis. In total, 26 municipalities signed up for the project.
Breda, Maastricht and Heerlen are classed as "border municipalities" due to their location. This means that the coffee shops there will not be able to sell weed to foreigners, a measure designed to prevent an increase in drug tourism.
The four largest municipalities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) will not be participating. This is due to one of the conditions of the trial being that all coffee shops in the municipality would be obliged to cooperate. In Amsterdam, there are nearly 170 coffee shops and forcing them to switch from their illegal suppliers all in one go could be dangerous, according to Mayor Femke Halsema.
Goal of the pilot
The goal of the pilot is to research whether the cultivation of weed can be taken out of the criminal circuit and the impact this has on public nuisance and safety, along with crime and public health. Additionally, the research will look at how the government-controlled cannabis can be delivered to coffee shops. The Dutch House of Representatives has approved the law which regulates the trial, but the Dutch Senate still has to vote on it.