Dutch coffee shops to ban "strong" cannabis
The Dutch government announced Friday that coffee shops will be banned from selling “strong” cannabis, in which the active ingredient THC is higher than 15 percent.
Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhaging said in a weekly cabinet meeting in The Hague on Friday, “We see cannabis with a THC content above 15 percent as a hard drug, which poses an unacceptable risk” to health.
Around 80 percent of the cannabis sold in coffee shops in the Netherlands last year had THC concentrations of above 15 percent, with an average of 16.5 percent, according to the Trimbos Institute.
Justice Ministry spokesman Martin Bruinsma said that municipalities would be able to order coffee shops selling “strong” cannabis to close their doors, once the law takes effect in March or April of next year.
The Netherlands made the possession of less than five grammes of cannabis legal in 1976 under a “tolerance” policy.
Its 670 coffee shops are currently allowed to stock no more than 500 grammes of the drug at any time.