Requirements for coffee shops in the experiment

The owners of all ‘coffee shops’ (the local term for cannabis cafés) in participating municipalities must take part in the experiment. These coffee shops must meet certain requirements, for example in regard to record-keeping.

Mandatory participation in the experiment

All coffee shops in participating municipalities are required to take part in the experiment. In this way, the same rules apply to all coffee shops and it is clear to customers that they are buying quality-controlled products.

All requirements for coffee shops taking part in the experiment are set out in the Controlled Cannabis Supply Chain Experiment Decree (in Dutch).

Existing legislation during experiment

Existing legislation will, for the most part, remain in force during the experiment. For example, coffee shop owners are not permitted to:

  • advertise;
  • cause nuisance;
  • sell large quantities at a time;
  • sell hard drugs or have them on site;
  • serve or sell alcohol, or have it on site.

Rules regarding the admittance of under-age individuals to coffee shops and the sale of soft drugs to people under age also still apply.

New legislation during the experiment

During the experiment different rules than those set out in the standard legislation will apply in regard to the following points.


  • During the experiment, the current maximum of 500 grams does not apply. In principle, coffee shops may have one week’s worth of stock on site. The mayor sets local rules for determining how much a week’s worth of stock is.
  • The mayor may set additional rules, such as a lower maximum.
  • During the experiment, coffee shop owners must store their stock at the coffee shop. Cannabis that has been ordered but not yet delivered is not considered as stock. Coffee shop owners may therefore have designated growers hold orders (in other words, future stock) for them.

Supply of cannabis products

Once the experimental phase begins, coffee shops may buy, sell and have in stock cannabis from designated growers only. During the start-up and transitional phases of the experiment, different rules apply. Read more about the various phases of the experiment.


Coffee shops must use a track & trace system. This is necessary to control the supply chain from grower to coffee shop and from coffee shop to customer. The coffee shop owner must therefore keep records of the following information:

  • the type and quantity of cannabis received, the date of receipt, and the grower it was supplied by;
  • the transporter that delivered the cannabis;
  • stock quantities;
  • the type and quantity of cannabis sold and the date of sale.

Application of the residence criterion

In participating municipalities near the borders with Belgium and Germany (Breda, Heerlen and Maastricht), coffee shop owners may allow entry and sell cannabis only to people who live in the Netherlands. In other words, there is a residence criterion.

Mayors from other participating municipalities can also decide to apply this criterion to the coffee shops in their municipalities.

Information about health problems caused by cannabis

The customers of coffee shops in participating municipalities must have access to accurate information about the use of cannabis and the associated risks. Sales staff will need to be trained in this.

If a customer exhibits problems caused by using cannabis, staff must be able to provide them with accurate information and, if necessary, refer them to services where they can seek help. Sales staff must therefore:

  • know the risks associated with cannabis, such as its effects and health risks;
  • be able to identify problematic cannabis use;
  • be able to advise customers and provide them with written information;
  • know what to do when they see customers who exhibit problematic behaviour because of cannabis use.

Information for customers about the use of cannabis, the risks associated with this and cannabis abuse must also be displayed clearly in the coffee shop.

Follow the developments of the experiment

To stay up to date you can register for newsletters (in Dutch) and sign up to receive documents (in Dutch) about the Controlled Cannabis Supply Chain Experiment.