Amsterdam calls plan for regulated cannabis cultivation unfeasible, dangerous

Amsterdam finds the national experiment with regulated cannabis cultivation unfeasible and "risky to public order". The municipality would like to participate in the experiment, but only with other rules, mayor Femke Halsema said in a letter to Ministers Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and Bruno Bruins for Medical Care and Sports, NOS reports.

Six to ten municipalities can participate in this experiment. Those who do can cultivate cannabis for delivery to coffeeshops within the municipal boundaries for four years. 

Amsterdam is concerned that too few types of cannabis and hashish will be allowed in the experiment, and that will stimulate trading on the streets where more types will be for sale. "The now proposed regulated supply of 20 to 30 types of cannabis and (Dutch) hashish is insufficient in view of the current range of several hundred varieties (in terms of taste and experience)", Halsema wrote in the letter.

According to the rules of the experiment, the city can also only participate if all 166 of the coffeeshops in the municipality take part. "They'll have to dispose of their illegal suppliers in one go", Halsema wrote. "It is not imaginary that problems with 'the back door' will arise at that moment."

Amsterdam would like to take part in this experiment, but for that the rules will have to be adjusted, the mayor wrote. She wants the Ministers to allow that only part of the coffeeshops can participate. And if they can't be moved on that point, then the city hopes for a transitional period during which both the current supply and the regulated supply of cannabis can be sold. 

Last year Jozias van Aartsen, then interim mayor of Amsterdam, said that city's cannabis market is too large for it to participate in this experiment. Amsterdam has around a quarter of all the coffeeshops in the Netherlands. The D66 faction in the Dutch capital sees it differently. "If it doesn't work in Amsterdam, what is the point", D66 leader Reinier van Dantzig said.