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Netherlands

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The Netherlands’ “coffee” shops are retail stores where the Dutch government tolerates cannabis sales for personal consumption. In our prior post, we explained the basic legal framework around cannabis in the Netherlands. Here, we will discuss how the country has implemented its coffee shop system. Through the Tolerance Policy we previously described, the government allows coffee shops to sell cannabis under strict conditions and will not prosecute them if those conditions are met. In order to open a coffee…

The Netherlands is famous throughout the world for its trailblazing attitude toward cannabis consumption. However, despite its reputation in popular culture as an open cannabis haven, the Netherlands still criminalizes aspects of the cannabis trade and has a strict regulatory structure for its famous “coffee” shops. As other countries, states, and municipalities legalize aspects of cannabis sale and consumption, they may look to the Dutch experience for an example of an existing system that tries to balance some of the…