The Netherlands will trial licensing cannabis growers for its famous “coffee shops” where smoking the drug is authorised, tackling a contradiction whereby selling is legal but supplying isn’t, which has fed an illegal market dominated by criminal organisations.
Local mayors hope legalizing cannabis production will close this black market.
The trial will first take place Tilburg and Breda, two neighbouring cities in the south of The Netherlands, and then in other Dutch cities as well.
“It’s very important that we take a next step in our cannabis policy”, Breda mayor Paul Depla told Reuters. “With the experiment we get rid of the illegal backdoor to coffee shops.”
The trials in Breda and Tilburg are part of what the Dutch government has dubbed a “start-up phase” of a new cannabis policy that would see cannabis production legalised in the whole country. The government hopes the small-scale trial licensing some farmers can iron out any hiccups in the new policy.