Dutch parliament supports proposal for regulated cannabis cultivation

The D66 submitted a proposal that will allow nurseries to grow cannabis under the control of the government. It seems the proposal will be able to count on a majority vote in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, NOS reports.

D66 parliamentarian Vera Bergkamp lobbied for this proposal for some time and got her break through when the small faction VNL threw its support behind it, bringing a probable majority with it.

"In our country we've had a crooked tolerance policy for a long time. You are allowed to sell weed, but not to cultivate or transport it. We don't like that. If we regulate it, it will be good for public health and good for bringing crime under control. A large part of the population and municipalities also support this", Bergkamp said to broadcaster NOS. The new law, if accepted, also monitors the quality of the cannabis. "People now often have no idea what they're smoking."

The legislative proposal stipulates that coffeeshop owners can only buy cannabis from "licensed" businesses, that grow the cannabis in a closed system. The cultivation must comply with a number of requirements and will be controlled by the government. Plantations without a license will be found and dismantled.

The PvdA supports the plan in principle, but still sees some practical problems, parliamentarian Marith Rebel said to the broadcaster. "We will have toe discuss with municipalities how to tackle this. The question also is who will carry out the checks and pay for them. The food and product safety authority (NVWA, ed) will also have to be involved. In short, we have to take a good look at it, but are positive about the plan." she said.