Maastricht coffee shop faces three-month closure

The three people arrested in Maastricht on Monday for selling cannabis to non-residents have been released, but the coffee shop where they work is threatened with three months closure.

The Mississippi faces the temporary closure because it sold soft drugs to foreigners, Maastricht council said on Tuesday afternoon.

The police raided the coffee shop on Monday night, following a warning last Thursday by the city’s mayor Onno Hoes that legal action would be taken if cafes went ahead with plans to sell marijuana to non-residents on Sunday to mark Liberation Day.

By law the cafes are only allowed to sell marijuana to people who officially live in the Netherlands.

A recent court ruling in favour of one coffee shop closed by Hoes has given rise to hopes the ban on foreigners may be dropped.

Coffee shops in the southern cities of Maastricht, Roermond and Sittard are now selling cannabis to foreigners again following the ruling.

Mayors in several large northern cities, including Amsterdam, say they will use their discretion about imposing the ban.