Limburg mayors back cannabis pass plan

Cannabis-selling cafes in Limburg will only be open to customers with special passes from January 1, eight of the region’s mayors agreed on Tuesday.

The plan, which aims to stop tens of thousands of German, Belgian and French nationals buying cannabis over the border, has the backing of justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin and home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst, news agency ANP reports.
Under the plan, the 30 cafes in the region, known in the Netherlands as coffee shops, will only sell a maximum of three grammes a day to members. The mayors are also considering banning cash payments.
Under current government policy, coffee shops may sell up to five grammes to users.
Drugs tourism
Maastricht mayor Gert Leers, who devised the scheme, says it will make Limburg less attractive to drugs tourists because they will be able to buy less marijuana.
But Hirsch Ballin rejected Leers’ call for the legalised production of cannabis for sale. ‘We cannot create a licensed production sector because of Europe,’ ANP quoted him as saying.
Annemarie Jorritsma, chairman of the Dutch local authorities association VNG, said she expected the project would be extended to Enschede and Eindhoven, ANP reported.

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