03/03/2024  Hazel Norman

Regional adult-use cannabis commerce trials, which permit consumers, growers, and retailers to participate in legal cannabis commerce for research purposes, were first proposed in the Netherlands in 2017 as part of a governing coalition agreement. Due to a series of delays, trials were not launched until December 2023.

Despite the nation’s cannabis trials being very new in the Netherlands, lawmakers in the European country are already trying to end the cannabis public policy experiment. According to domestic reporting, the nation’s largest political party, PVV, wants to pause the trials until a new governing coalition agreement is finalized.

The ChristenUnie, SGP, and CDA political parties also oppose cannabis trials in the Netherlands. Cannabis trials are still supported by the GroenLinks-PvdA, D66, and VVD parties.

Cannabis and the Netherlands have a long history, with the nation’s capital Amsterdam serving as one of the top international cannabis tourist destinations for several decades. Coffeeshops selling cannabis products are common in Amsterdam.

Such entities are historically ‘tolerated’ versus being outright legal. Public policy in the Netherlands has historically been disconnected from reality when it comes to cannabis, and the trials are a means to try to start bridging the gap

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