Coffeeshops getting more cannabis from outside Netherlands
The only effect the new Opium Act had is that coffeeshops are now getting more cannabis from abroad. The major illegal cannabis cultivators did not stop their activities, they simply moved them to outside the Netherlands, BNR reports based on information from several experts and people from the soft drugs industry.
The new Opium Act was implemented on March 1st last year. It made anything to do with cannabis cultivation illegal, including selling items used in the cultivation. The government hoped that the new law will make it easier to address the major illegal growers.
But instead they are simply going abroad to buy the things they need, or cultivating their cannabis outside the Netherlands. The big growers went to countries like Spain or in Eastern Europe, where there is more space, the policy is less restrictive and the authorities are more lax. So it seems the law did not work.
According to BNR, the law may even have backfired. The majority of the Dutch weed is going abroad for exports, the experts say. Leaving coffeeshops to either import their weed from outside the Netherlands or deal with bad quality, leftover cannabis.