Between €728m and €884m is earned from marijuana production in the Tilburg region on an annual basis, the NRC said at the weekend, quoting confidential research.
The illegal industry is so large it poses a ‘serious threat to the safety and integrity of society,’ said the report, which was put together by researchers from Tilburg University and crime prevention experts.
Marijuana production in the area involves 2,500 people and between 600 and 900 plantations, the city’s mayor Peter Noordanus told the NRC. The drugs trade has grown into a criminal industry which ‘increasingly corrupts the legal and economic infrastructure,’ the report said.
The researchers base their claims on police investigations and statements from a ‘very active’ drugs dealer who agreed to give evidence to the authorities in return for police protection. He claims some 60 organisations are involved in marijuana production in and around Tilburg.
Most of the marijuna is destined for export because so much is being produced it cannot all be consumed locally, Noordanus told the paper. The Brabant city has a population of some 200,000 people.
Tilburg is one of the Dutch cities which has been urging justice minister Ivo Opstelten to allow regulated marijuna production. Opstelten has refused to consider the idea, saying it would conflict with international treaties.