Taking part in the controlled cannabis supply chain experiment

The government wishes to initiate an experiment involving the cultivation and sale of cannabis for recreational use. Participating parties must meet a number of conditions. Most of the conditions have been laid down in the order in council. A draft of the order in council was published in late 2018, so that interested parties could respond. The response is currently being processed. A new version of the order in council will be submitted to the House of Representatives in the spring of 2019.

Municipalities and coffee shops

All coffee shops located in a participating municipality will be obliged to take part in the experiment, and they will only be permitted to sell regulated cannabis. Current rules will continue to apply: minors under 18 are barred from coffee shops and the maximum purchase of cannabis per customer is five grams.

The remaining rules and conditions for the experiment are also expected to be elaborated in the spring of 2019, at which point municipalities can officially register their interest in taking part in the experiment. They will receive further information on how to register. This information will also be published on this website. The Knottnerus committee will then issue an advisory report to the Minister for Healthcare and the Minister of Justice and Security on which municipalities can participate. No more than 10 will be selected. Next, the Ministers will decide which municipalities will be invited to take part.

Cannabis growers

The Minister for Healthcare and the Minister for Justice and Security will select five to ten growers. The plan is to appoint the growers by ministerial order, following a licensing procedure. This procedure will take place once the order in council governing the experiment has entered into force. The criteria and the procedure for selecting and appointing growers will be set out in greater detail in the order in council. A timeframe will be established during which interested parties can apply, after which applicants will be assessed to determine whether they meet the criteria. The government agrees with the committee’s projection that growers will need at least a year to prepare.

Conditions on the business plan

One of the conditions for growers in the draft of the order in council is that they must have a business plan. Among other things, the business plan must specify:

  • how the cannabis will be grown;
  • what types of cannabis the grower intends to grow;
  • how the grower will ensure delivery of the cannabis to the coffee shops.