As part of a national-level pilot programme, all marijuana sold in the municipality of Groningen will have to come from legally recognized growers in the year 2021.
Translation by Traci White
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that Groningen will be among ten municipalities nationwide taking part in an experiment with legal cultivation of weed for recreational use, but coffee shop owners in the city remain skeptical.
The marijuana dispensaries in Groningen will be required to take part, but the business owners are concerned about lower profits, quality and variety if they are forced to buy from recognised city growers. Some have also suggested that customers may seek out illegal growers in order to obtain other cannabis strains.
Those risks have tempered the enthusiasm of the other “big 4” cities in the Netherlands – Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag and Utrecht – none of which are taking part. De Telegraaf reports that other participating municipalities in the leaked controlled cannabis supply chain experiment list are Tilburg, Almere, Breda, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Arnhem, Zaanstad, Heerlen and Hellevoetsluis.
The municipality of Groningen is one of 26 across The Netherlands which signed up for the four-year-long experiment, which will make it legal to cultivate marijuana under certain conditions. Dagblad van het Noorden reports that Groningen is the only large city that has expressed an interest in taking part, and the only one in the north to be chosen: Oldambt (Winschoten) withdrew their application, and Midden-Groningen (Hoogezand) did not make the cut.
While The Netherlands is renowned around the world for legal access to weed, currently, Dutch drug law forbids growing more than five plants, and only if they are for personal use, which means that coffee shop owners have to source their marijuana from the illegal marketplace. Illegal marijuana groweries are shut down on a regular basis across the north, but under the experiment, shop owners will be able to source through a selection of city growers.