Stockpiling cannabis: Long queues formed outside Dutch coffeeshops
Long queues of customers outside coffee shops lined the streets on Sunday, March 15 as countless people in the Netherlands rushed to stockpile cannabis ahead of the mandatory three-week closure of coffee shops.
Long queues formed shortly after the announcement
The Dutch health minister Bruno Bruins announced after a cabinet meeting at the weekend that all coffee shops, along with bars, restaurants, gyms and other public establishments, are forced to remain closed from 6pm on Sunday, March 15, until April 6 due to the new measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This announcement led to hordes of people in cities all across the Netherlands forming long queues outside coffee shops to stockpile cannabis.
Coffee shops re-opened
A day after the initial closure announcement, coffee shops were granted permission to re-open, offering "takeaway deals". Coffee shops now operate under the same hygiene and consumption rules as takeaway food and beverage businesses, where customers can purchase items as long as they are not consumed on the premises.
Re-opening coffee shops was a joint decision made by mayors, police and justice ministry officials to safeguard against unlawful drug dealing in the Netherlands. The queues were a sight to behold, although, in the end, they proved unnecessary.
Thumb photo: Smokers Guide