Taking part in the controlled cannabis supply chain experiment

The Dutch government wishes to initiate an experiment involving the cultivation and sale of cannabis for recreational use. Participating parties must meet a number of conditions. 

Municipalities and coffee shops

The experiment will be conducted in 10 municipalities. The municipalities which currently are selected, are:

  • Arnhem
  • Almere
  • Breda
  • Groningen
  • Heerlen
  • Hellevoetsluis
  • Maastricht
  • Nijmegen
  • Tilburg
  • Zaanstad

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 banned from coffee shops and the maximum purchase of cannabis per customer is five grams. Also, coffee shops are not allowed to advertise.

The coffee shops also have to comply with a set of new rules concerning prevention. The government believes it is important that coffee shop customers are informed about the risks involved in using cannabis.

Cannabis growers

The Minister for Healthcare and the Minister of Justice and Security will select ten growers. Seven growers have been selected so far. The growers are appointed by ministerial order, following a licensing procedure. The criteria and procedure for selecting and appointing growers have been set out in the order in council governing the experiment. 

Conditions on the business plan

One of the conditions for growers in 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.

The rules to which participants must comply, are set out in: ‘Rules for the experiment with a controlled supply of cannabis to coffee shops