Prosecutor wants coffeeshop The Grass Company to pay €20 million: report

Police officer holding a cannabis plant
Police officer holding a cannabis plantPhoto: Politie

The Public Prosecutor calculated that Noord-Brabant coffeeshop chain The Grass Company's illegal turnover amounted to over 20 million euros. The Prosecutor wants the company to pay that entire amount back, the company's lawyer Sidney Smeets confirmed to ANP after reports in Brabants Dagblad. 

The Public Prosecutor confirmed that a confiscation procedure has been initiated, but would not say anything about the amount involved, according to the news wire. 

The Grass Company and its management are being prosecuted for money laundering, fraud, tax fraud and forgery. One of the suspects, founder Johan van Laarhoven, is currently serving a 75 years long prison sentence in Thailand. He was arrested there in 2014 based on information the Dutch Public Prosecutor gave the Thai authorities, and was convicted of laundering money made by the sale of drugs in the Netherlands.

The Prosecutor believes that The Grass Company broke the Netherlands' tolerance policy on cannabis. If this is indeed the case, the company had an illegal turnover of more than 20 million euros, according to the Prosecutor's investigation. Laywer Smeets emphasized to ANP that this is turnover and not profit.

According to Brabants Dagblad, the Prosecutor's confiscation procedure relates to two secret stock places The Grass Company maintained. The police discovered these locations in Den Bosch and in Tilburg. In 2015 the court ruled that the stock place in Den Bosch was needed to provide the coffeeshops in the city and imposed not punishment on the company. The case around the stock location in Tilburg has not yet been tried.