Friday 03 April 2020

Regulated marijuana trial should be ‘bigger, with 15 varieties + hashish’ says commission

Sorting flowers in a coffee shop. Photo: Graham Dockery

The government’s plans to experiment with regulated marijuana cultivation should be carried out far more widely than in just six to 10 local authority areas, the government  commission working on the plans has said.

The current plan is not wide enough to be properly representative and to allow methodological analysis, and would, therefore, be pretty pointless, the commission said on Tuesday afternoon.

The experiment with regulated growing is supposed to remove the gray area between the sale of marijuana in council-licenced coffee shops and the illegal cultivation and supply.

The commission also recommends that the state should decide who should grow the marijuana. They, in turn, should be capable of meeting high standards and growing a variety of different types of weed – at least 15 types of marijuana and 10 different varieties of hashish.

Users panel

The list of the different varieties would be drawn up together with coffee shop owners and a panel of users.

Coffee shops currently have a much wider selection on offer and some 20% of users prefer hashish from Moroccoa, Afghanistan and Nepal. Foreign hashish will not be allowed during the experiment and ‘it will be a challenge to produce this at home,’ commission chairman Andre Knotternerus said.

The commission also says action must be taken to ensure the marijuana is moved around as little as possible, to prevent drugs gangs getting involved.

Stock

The commission says cannabis cafes, known as coffee shops, should be able to have enough stock for a day’s sales in house. Currently they may not have more than 500 grammes on the premises.

RTL correspondent Frits Wester said it is notable that the recommendations go much further than the plans included in the coalition agreement. In particular, the commission’s belief that the experiments should not be stopped after four years if successful, is worthy of note, he said.

More details about the trials, including which authorities can take part, will be published later in the year.  Health minister Bruno Bruins and justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus say they will respond to the recommendations shortly.

Read the report (Dutch only)

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