Cannabis cafe membership may be delayed

Cannabis cafes in the south of the country will have until May 1 2012 to turn themselves into members’ only clubs, justice minister Ivo Opstelten said on Thursday.

The minister had wanted to introduce the membership pass system in January, but many local councils had asked for a delay.
So-called coffee shops in Noord-Brabant, Limburg and Zeeland will now become members’ only clubs in May. The system will be introduced nationwide in 2013 Opstelten said.
Under the new system, only people who are officially resident in the Netherlands will be able to ‘join’ a cannabis club. Coffee shops will be allowed to have no more than 2,000 members and must be at least 350 metres from schools.
Opponents of the coffee shop pass system say it will lead to an increase in street dealing.
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