14/12/2023  Julie CAPELLE, Barron's

Ashwin Matai looks proudly at hundreds of his cannabis plants growing under fierce LED lights. From Friday, his prized weed will no longer be illegal in the Netherlands.

"I call it a historic moment," the 34-year-old Matai tells AFP, as the Netherlands decriminalises the production of cannabis in certain regions as part of a four-year test run.

It is a common misconception that cannabis is legal in the Netherlands, world-famous for its "coffee shops" that in fact sell pot, not coffee.

In fact, consumption is illegal but "tolerated" under a policy dating back nearly five decades.

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