The Hague also pulls out of regulated cannabis experiment

The municipality of The Hague will likely not participate in the government's regulated cannabis cultivation experiment. In a letter to the city council, Mayor Pauline Krikke wrote that the conditions of the experiment are unworkable - specifically the condition that all coffeeshops in participating municipalities have to participate in the experiment, NOS reports.

The municipality spoke with various coffeeshop owners in The Hague. In principle, they are in favor of a form of regulated cannabis cultivation, but because of the rules attached to this experiment they find it unworkable and undesirable. "The lack of support from the sector is a clear signal to us", Krikke said.

The Hague is not the first municipality to pull out of the experiment. The municipality of Amsterdam will not participate, also largely because of the requirement that all the many coffeeshops in the city will have to take part. The other two large Dutch cities, Rotterdam and Utrecht, are also not participating. The association of Dutch municipalities VNG criticized the current design of the experiment. 

Krikke believes it is of great importance that the experiment is easy to perform. "The office [of mayor and aldermen] has serious doubts about this, given the well-founded and very widely accepted criticism that has been expressed about the experiment from various sides", she wrote to the city council. According to the mayor, these doubts come on top of the great effort the municipality will have to put into the experiment. She and her aldermen therefore do not want to participate. 

The city council will soon debate this matter with the mayor and aldermen and then make a final decision, according to NOS.

The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, approved the legislative proposal for the experiment with state regulated cannabis in January. The law makes it possible for designated growers to cultivate cannabis, which will then be delivered to coffeeshops in participating municipalities. The experiment will last four years and a maximum of 10 municipalities can take part. Municipalities who are interested have until June 10th to register. The bill still has to pass through the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate.