Cannabis in the Netherlands – Laws, Uses and History

The Netherlands flag and a neon coffee shop sign

The Netherlands is often seen as a haven for cannabis use. However, despite the notorious coffeeshops in Amsterdam, cannabis is technically illegal in the country, though its use is tolerated. Officials are looking to reform their approach and may soon start creating a government-controlled recreational market.

    • Capital
    • Amsterdam
    • Population
    • 17,414,000
    • CBD Products
    • Legal under 0.05% THC
    • Recreational cannabis
    • Decriminalised
    • Medicinal cannabis
    • Legal since 2003

Cannabis laws in the Netherlands

Can you possess and use cannabis in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands government categorises drugs into two lists:

  • List 1: ‘Hard’ drugs regarded as harmful to health, such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and GHB.
  • List 2: ‘Soft’ drugs that pose less risk, such as tranquilisers and cannabis.

All drug laws are based on the 1928 Opium Act, which says that possession of any drugs (list 1 or 2) is illegal. However, the Opium Act Directive also states that certain outlets where cannabis use occurs (known as coffeeshops), will be tolerated by the local authorities. This is called ‘gedoogbeleid’ – an official tolerance policy. So, contrary to popular belief, cannabis is decriminalized rather than legalized. In March 2017, there were 567 coffeeshops in the Netherlands.

At times, the law does come into action for use of cannabis. For example, if it is seen as a threat to the health of young people, then you could be prosecuted (for example, smoking it near a school or on public transport). Whether you’re prosecuted or not is the decision of the local authorities, not the government.

Technically, you could also be sent to prison for possessing even small quantities. The threshold for what constitutes a ‘small amount’ is five grams. If you possess over this amount, you could be subject to a fine (€75) if you’re a first-time offender, or a prison sentence if you’re caught with a larger amount.

If caught with below five grams of cannabis, it will probably be confiscated, and you won’t be prosecuted or fined.

Can you smoke cannabis on the streets in Amsterdam?

Use of cannabis in public is not permitted. However, tracking down the possession and use of small amounts is not a priority and is not actively pursued by the police. Particularly in central Amsterdam, the police will often only issue a warning to someone who is using cannabis without causing a nuisance.

Can you sell cannabis in the Netherlands?

Selling cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands, and you’re far more likely to be convicted if you’re caught supplying it to others. The Placement in an Institution for Prolific Offenders Law was introduced in 2004 to assist persistent offenders. It consists of both imprisonment and treatment, mostly carried out in institutions outside the prison.

However, the law becomes more complex regarding coffeeshop sellers. There are ‘tolerance criteria’ in place for shop-owners to adhere to, which include:

  • Not selling more than five grams of cannabis per day, per person
  • Not selling cannabis to minors
  • Not permitting minors to enter the shop
  • Not selling alcohol
  • Not having a trade stock of over 500 grams
  • No access or sales for people who live outside the Netherlands

Providing coffeeshop owners keep to these guidelines, the sale of cannabis in their premises will be tolerated by local authorities.

The police enforce some laws more than others. For example, selling to minors is strongly policed. Selling to foreigners usually is not, as this would put most coffeeshops out of business. 

Can you grow cannabis in the Netherlands?

Once again, cannabis cultivation is officially illegal, though growing a few plants at home for personal use is decriminalized. If you’re caught with five cannabis plants or less, the authorities will probably confiscate them without prosecuting you.

The “personal use” aspect here is crucial. It should be clear that the grower does not intend to sell the cannabis. If authorities detect at least 2 signs that it might be a commercial grow operation, they might prosecute. These signs can be artificial lights, ventilation, timers, etc.

Being caught with a higher number of plants is taken more seriously, and you could be sentenced to communal service or several years of imprisonment. The sentence might be increased for those acting as part of a criminal organisation, if the plants were a fire-hazard, or if the plantation was booby-trapped.

There have been some notable court cases regarding cannabis cultivation. An interesting case study is that of two farmers, who were arrested in 2014. The court ruled that although they had violated the law by growing 2,500 cannabis plants, they would not be punished.

To justify the decision, the judge pointed out that the two farmers grew the cannabis plants in a safe and responsible manner, in accordance with the Dutch policy of tolerance. This was a landmark case, signifying a shift in attitude towards cannabis cultivation in the country.

A change to the law?

The law may be set to change soon. In 2020, the government accepted applications from companies wishing to cultivate recreational cannabis, as part of a pilot scheme.

The “Closed Coffeeshop Chain experiment” is being conducted to see how growers can legally supply quality-controlled cannabis to coffeeshops, throughout ten selected municipalities. The experiment is expected to last at least 4 years, with the possibility of a year and a half extension. By the end of the July deadline, 149 businesses had applied.

Ten growers were expected to be chosen by May 2021. However, as of July 2021, Government ministers have yet to decide when the experimental phase will commence and “do not expect to be able to designate all ten growers at the same time”.

Indoor cannabis plants

Is CBD legal in the Netherlands?

CBD production is illegal in the Netherlands, but it is legal for personal use. Its legal status stems from old legislation, which was more concerned with the production of hash oil than CBD.

The Netherlands’ Opium Act was amended in 1999, legalising hemp for industrial production. This meant that it was legal to grow hemp plants with a THC content of under 0.2%, but not to produce CBD, as it was an extraction of the plant.

However, there is a loophole in the law. If the hemp is grown in the Netherlands, then processed into CBD abroad, it can be legally sold in the Netherlands again. Contrary to popular opinion, it must have a THC level of less than 0.05%, not 0.2%.

CBD capsules spelling out the word CBD

Can cannabis seeds be sent to the Netherlands?

It’s legal to sell and buy cannabis seeds in the Netherlands. They can also be legally mailed into the country via the post.

Medicinal cannabis in the Netherlands

The Netherlands was one of the first countries in the world to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Attitudes started changing in 1993, when the Netherlands became the first EU country to introduce a forerunner to its current medicinal cannabis programme. Then in 1999, when Els Borst (then Health Minister) advocated its use, the government started to develop something more concrete. Two years after, the country began producing and prescribing cannabis to patients. The Office of Medicinal Cannabis was also formed at this point.

In 2003, the government gave licences to two companies, permitting them to produce cannabis products for medical use. One of these products, Bedrocan, is among the most widely used cannabis medication in the world. All production is highly regulated and monitored by the Office of Medical Cannabis.

Now, the government is keen to introduce a further government licence, letting other companies cultivate cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.

A doctor with a stethoscope around his neck holding cannabis

Yes we Bedrocan!

Demand for Bedrocan has been rising steadily over the years. It tripled production when it opened a further facility in 2015. During that time, Bedrocan developed five different cannabis strains, each to cater for different medical needs. One of their strains uses the Jack Herer genetics, a strain created by Sensi Seeds.

Given that other countries have only recently made medicinal cannabis legal, the pressure is on for Bedrocan. Keeping up with demand is a difficult process, especially with supply bottlenecks in some EU countries.

Industrial hemp in the Netherlands

Industrial hemp has been legally grown in the Netherlands since 1993. The first hemp plantation was in Nagele (in the Noordoostpolder), then a year later, production moved to the Veenkolonien, in the north-east of the country. The HempFlax Group was founded by Ben Dronkers (who’s also the founder of Sensi Seeds) with the aim to create a proper hemp industry. It established itself in Oude Pekela and has grown to become one of the world’s most notable suppliers.

In the beginning, industrial hemp production was modest, with a notable dip in 2004 and 2006, due to some contracts between farmers and processors being terminated. However, the industry has grown significantly since its inception, and there are now thousands of hectares devoted to hemp cultivation.

A tractor harvesting hemp plants

Politics and cannabis

The Netherlands is regarded as being one of the most permissive nations in the world when it comes to cannabis laws. However, while the government has traditionally tolerated its use (especially in coffeeshops), it has adopted an increasingly stricter stance in recent years.

For example, in 2015, the government ordered the closure of nearly 6,000 cannabis plantations. Then in 2017, the Liberal Party (led by Mark Rutte, Prime Minister), didn’t support the proposals to regulate cannabis production in the country; although their coalition partner, Labour, did.

More recently, various political parties have sought to reform the current cannabis laws, which are currently confusing. The D66 party put forward a bill to allow the government to regulate cannabis supply to coffeeshops. Solving problems with the ‘back door’ would reduce dependency on the black market.

As a result, the government is now planning to administer cultivation licences to small-scale cannabis producers, who will then supply to the coffeeshops.

Problems of the so-called ‘back door’

In the Netherlands, the sale of small amounts of cannabis is tolerated, but the purchase of cannabis by coffeeshops is illegal. So, coffeeshops can sell through the ‘front door’, but they can’t purchase the supply through the ‘back door’. This has created a legal impasse, and has several downsides: It encourages organized crime, and hinders quality assurance of the product.

Regulated production takes the wind out of the sails of criminal cannabis growers, makes it possible to verify the quality of the cannabis, and will generate extra tax income. A similar model is used in Uruguay and (more or less) in the American state of Colorado.

Good to know

If you are travelling to the Netherlands (or are a resident of the country), it is useful to know the following:

Cannabis history

Cannabis was smoked widely in the Netherlands in the 17th century. This is proven in a painting by Flemish artist Adriaen Brouwer, which shows a man with an ale tankard in one hand and a pipe in the other. In these times, those who smoked cannabis were called ‘toeback-drinckers’. They usually mixed their cannabis with tobacco, then smoked it in a Gouda stone pipe.

Cannabis consumption remained extensive until the action was taken against the ‘toeback-drinckers’. Pope Urbanus VII banned it, threatening those that flouted the ruling with excommunication. The authorities even threatened corporal punishment, in the form of cutting off offender’s noses or hanging them.

Despite this threat, there were plenty who believed in the beneficial value of cannabis. Some scholars even proclaimed that it was good for the body and mind.

What are the coffeeshops?

Coffeeshops are cafes in the Netherlands that are ‘permitted’ to sell cannabis to their customers. Although the sale is tolerated, it isn’t, strictly speaking, legal. Only small quantities of cannabis can be sold (five grams per customer) and no more than 500 grams of stock must be kept at any one time.

All sorts of people visit coffeeshops in the Netherlands. Although it’s regarded by many across the world as a ‘young person’s’ hobby, plenty of older people enjoy smoking cannabis in coffeeshops too.  

Due to a law passed in 2012 (which isn’t widely enforced in Amsterdam), non-residents are not permitted to enter. The coffeeshops are for the exclusive use of residents only.

Check out the 2 videos below, created by Sensi Seeds, interviewing Dutch coffeeshop clients:

What is a Growshop?

There have been growshops in the Netherlands since the 1980s. These stores sell everything required to cultivate cannabis under artificial lighting. Most of the customers purchase these items legally, in order to illegally grow cannabis in their own homes.

The trend for growshops soon spread. In the 1990s, similar establishments appeared in Germany and Switzerland. By the millennium, there were growshops around the world, in locations like the USA and South America.

The unwritten rule has always been that the shops can stay in business, providing they don’t sell cannabis. Until recently, the Dutch growshops were permitted to sell seeds, but this has since been made illegal.

In 2015, the future of the Dutch growshop was put under threat, due to the introduction of the Growshop Act.

The new law stated that, while the shops could continue to sell the equipment, they could only operate as a kind of ‘florist’. If the shop-owner knows that one of their customers is involved in illegally cultivating cannabis, they could be found guilty of ‘aiding and abetting’.

The Dutch police have been acting on the law, and regularly sell seized equipment at auctions.

However, Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten (who implemented the law) has since resigned. Growshop-owners across the country now hope that the restrictive law may be reversed.

The weed pass – failed experiment?

In 2010, Ivo Opstelten proposed plans to introduce the ‘weed pass’ in the border regions of the Netherlands. The weed pass law turned coffeeshops into “members only” clubs, open solely to Dutch residents. Members would only be able to get into the coffeeshops by registering for a “weed pass” and the shops would only be allowed a maximum of 2,000 members. This was designed to reduce drug tourism and the issues associated with it.

Coffeeshop owners brought a case to the European Court, protesting the decision. However, their case was overruled.

The weed pass came into effect on 2012, in the southern cities such as Maastricht. However, the impact was largely negative. Tourists, driven out of coffeeshops, simply took their trade to criminal street dealers. This further funded the black market and actually increased drug-related incidents.  

In 2013, the government was ordered to compensate the coffeeshop owners, who claimed they’d lost money as a direct consequence of the weed pass. The Hague district court ruled that local customers had been deterred by it, as well as tourists.

The weed pass is still in action today. Only Dutch residents may use the coffeeshops; apart from in Amsterdam, which is exempt, provided that coffeeshops must be at least 250m away from a school. Because of that, about 175 coffeeshops remain in Amsterdam, half the amount of coffeeshops in the 90’s. 

The 250m school distance is somewhat counterintuitive, since coffeeshops are already strictly forbidden to allow persons under 18 in their shops. Owners strictly observe this. Some have even voluntarily raised the age of admission to 21, to avoid their license being revoked and the coffeeshop being permanently closed.

Cannabis events in The Netherlands

The Netherlands hosts a few major cannabis events throughout the year. These include:

  • The Cannabis Culture Awards. The Cannabis Culture Awards give recognition to those who have campaigned for drug reform or been a cannabis advocate in the past. They’re held at the Hash Marihuana and Hemp museum in Amsterdam.
  • GreenTech. The GreenTech Summit and Trade Show is held in Amsterdam. This three-day event focuses mainly on the horticulture industry and covers crops like hemp. It’s a useful place for people in the industry to exchange ideas, network, and learn more about the latest developments.
  • Amsterdam Cannabis Cup. The Amsterdam Cannabis Cup originally began in 1987. It was established by Steven Hager (High Times chief editor), and over the years, has given experts the opportunity to showcase their cannabis strains. The lively event usually features music, and celebrity appearances too.

Past events:

  • Cannabis Liberation Day. One of The Netherlands’ most iconic cannabis festivals, Cannabis Liberation Day first started in 2009. 2018 was its final year, as event organisers planned to focus more on campaigning in the country.

Laws in the future

The Netherlands already adopts a tolerant approach to cannabis use; though many admit that the laws are confusing. As such, it seems likely that future governments may address the contradictions and create a clearer set of laws for citizens to adhere to.

  • Disclaimer:
    While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide legal advice, as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.


66 thoughts on “Cannabis in the Netherlands – Laws, Uses and History”

  1. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the complex cannabis laws and policies in the Netherlands, shedding light on a topic that can often be confusing. By breaking down the legality of possession, use, sale, and cultivation of cannabis, the article offers valuable insights into how the Dutch government approaches drug regulation. Additionally, it highlights the ongoing efforts to reform these laws, such as the pilot scheme to legalize recreational cannabis cultivation and supply to coffeeshops. The inclusion of historical context, political perspectives, and practical tips for travelers enhances the reader’s understanding of the subject. Overall, this article serves as an informative resource for anyone interested in learning about cannabis laws in the Netherlands, and it has certainly deepened my understanding of the topic.

  2. Johan Delport

    Hi Bedrocan,

    I am a Registered Pharmacist in South Africa, and a 50% Shareholder of Maluvha Nursery Pty Ltd a cutflower farmer in South Africa.

    We have applied for a Medicinal Cannabis License with the Department of Health in SA.

    Will you be able to send me a copy of your GMP Certification as I need to submit it to Department of Health in SA. We intend to produce medicinal Cannabis Oil and dried Cannabis Product for export. We would like to work conjunction with you in the future. Regards, Johan Delport. Pharmacist P02876.

    1. Hei Hardoline in Uruguay have CBD Cannabis for sail in big kvanti sertifisert for medisinsk use.

  3. VOC | Verbond voor Opheffing van het Cannabisverbod

    […] On average Dutch police raid 5,000 so-called cannabis grow operations every year. These range from a small tent in a private house or even a few plants in someone’s garden, to computerized grow containers buried under the ground. Every year around a thousand people are evicted from their house for growing cannabis, including families with children. Police actively stimulate the population to snitch on neighbors who they suspect might be growing cannabis. In 2015, a law to ban growshops came into effect. […]

  4. Hi @ all
    How is the legal situation of growing EU-confirmed CBD strains in the Netherlands today (2018)?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Sven,

      Thanks for your question 🙂 I’m not sure what you mean by EU-confirmed CBD strains. I think you mean the ones bred to contain high levels of CBD and low levels of THC? If so, it really still depends on the THC level as to whether or not they are classed as industrial hemp. According to our sister company HempFlax, “Hemp is permitted to be cultivated in the EU, but it must be approved by the authorities and fall consistently below 0.2% of ∆9-THC in
      any given part of the plant”. So it is still necessary to have a license to grow hemp. If the THC is more than 0.2%, the plants are classed as cannabis (as in the psychoactive types) and the usual rules for personal use apply, to wit, no indoor cultivation and a maximum of five plants outdoors.

      Given the rapidly changing status of CBD in Europe, it is likely that we will be posting an update on this soon. In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!

      With best wishes,


  5. The weed in the coffeeshops in The Hague is bad as well. It’s all a money thing. The buds look okay, but they’re not cured and dried properly. When you smoke it, it stinks. Also the ash is black and the taste is also bad. Don’t waste your money like I did. These shops don’t care about their weed, they only care about the money.

  6. I went into a couple of `shops` in Eindoven last year and was refused service because I was not from the Netherlands.
    Not impressed!

  7. hi i know that alot of coffee shops in amsterdam use alot of bad stuff to grow there weed fast so they can make more money but its bad weed. it will get you high but the thc u see in the buds are bad there not pure thc there chemical thc. i heard the club media coffee shop does not have or sell chemical weed or thc chemical im looking forward to visiting club media coffee shop because i heard they only sell organic weed. so i hope thats true! if it is club media coffee shop will be my best coffeeshop in amsterdam! see you guys soon!

  8. OK, I am doing a one month residency in Renkum, Netherlands and have journeyed from Eugene, Oregon where pot is not only legal but we have over sixty legal pot dispensaries in our small city with no problems and making all kinds of good tax money for the government. But where can i buy pot here? I guess I will try the pharmacy but doubt they will sell it to me. I have a marijuana medical providers card from the State of Oregon but doubt that makes any difference.Whenever I come to Europe it is like entering the dark ages with criminalization and fear mongering about pot. Did you know that one of your best European painters, Picasso, regularly smoked hash for inspiration? Seems like alcohol and caffeine are still the drugs of choice for most Europeans and these giant mega interests want to keep it that way.

  9. here i am am a kenyan who want to transform lives through marijuana in east and central africa if you can fit gig deal i will gon na strike it in high rank. contact me to negotiate

  10. Jason Clark

    The situation here in the UK is worse. The vast majority of the population all agree that cannabis should be legalised but our govt absolutely refuses to listen and still insist that cannabis is evil and will be the end of civilization as we know it despite all of the evidence contrary to that.

    The UK is rapidly becoming the most backward nation on the planet regarding a lot of things, I pray holland doesn’t become the same.

  11. Jim in COLO

    A very interesting video. More people should have the ability to relax and visit without penalty. I live in Colorado. The feeling of not having to hide the fact that you enjoy this natural herb is satisfying. I have enjoyed it for more than 50 years. The CoffeeShop environment sounds like a wonderful place. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Christian Roman

    Hello, this msg is to make contact

    we have just developed this new product and we want to let everybody know that this choice is available now.

    can you please tell us if possible to promote it with you ??

    i am actually in the Netherlands

    please let me know if possible.

    Thank you very much for your attention

    Best regards


    Christian Roman

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Christian,

      I have passed your comment on to the relevant department.

      With best wishes,


  13. If we want to take a big step in quality, we’d have to give licenses to many companies. We’d have to control the companies very well and make sure there will only be perfectly clean products on the market. Only then the weed will get better suitable for everyones needs. Both medical as recreational. Let’s hope the coffeeshops get the chance to grow as well. There’s a lot of knowledge there.

  14. Jeff Pfeifer

    I believe that one should be able to cultivate the hemp and marijuana plant for their own consumption.
    Maybe limit 3-5 plants per individual.

  15. It was just announces last week that Canadian LP Tilray also recieved their GMP certificate awarded by EMA. GMP and GACP production combined with GLP certified laboratory (in-house) testing will become the gold standard for medical cannabis production within the next five years. Too bad it will push smaller scale producers out of the market…

  16. Best Friends Amsterdam

    Great piece again Sensi,

    I think it will depend on the government and how they will regulate the growing.
    Will there be a few licenses for small growers, or a lot for bigger growers.

    Anyway the honest coffeeshops will be very very happy, because buying the product won’t be a big hassle anymore.
    The downside for the best coffeeshops is, it will be easier for every shop to buy good quality. Maybe they’ll lose a bit of their hard earned advantage on quality gear. They’ll have to make the difference on other grounds.

    For the costumers there are many upsides, because they’ll be able to buy constant quality gear. When you like a certain strain, you’ll probably be able to buy it anytime you like.
    The quality will probably go up, given the government won’t set to many rules for strength and species.

    It’s going to be very interesting. Let’s hope Big Pharma won’t suddenly take over our love & passion


  17. California (USA) has a pretty good system in place at the moment Nov 2016.

    For personal use (simple summary, for 21 yrs of age and above only):

    * Personal Cultivation: 6 plants total. No limit on technical apparatus used. Allowed to grow indoors or outdoors, but must be in locked area outdoors (child safety), plants not positively identifiable (discreet) from public view. Outdoor grow. (sample: a simple greenhouse outdoors using fence with mesh and simple locked gate to keep children out is considered enclosed and locked (discreet but everyone knows).

    * You may possess all or your harvest that your have grown (accumulative amount = may equal kilos possibly depending on harvests).

    * Public possession less than 28.5 grams is legal, a violation could receive a reasonable priced fine per violation. (May purchase amounts up to 28.5 grams per visit from a retail vendor).

    * Public smoking mostly prohibited, same as cigarettes. Enforcement is liberal at best.

  18. Wasting your time meddling with anything people do to change the way they feel.Cut out the moralising -Let things find their own level.

  19. Cannabis N.I.

    Do you guys reckon if this happens the price per gram in coffeeshops will come down ?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Cannabis N.I.,

      Good question! I think it could actually become more expensive, depending on whether there are additional costs in the form of payment for a license to grow, checks by electricians and plumbers, etc. Since there are unfortunately quite a lot of growers who still tap electricity illegally, if they decide to become legal growers then their production costs will rise. However, more people may start growing if there is no risk of breaking the law, so we may see prices fall as the market becomes more competitive. This is a good topic for a blog post so I will try to look into it more deeply!

      With best wishes,


  20. This is awesome news. I lived in Germany in the late 80’s & have passed till burg a couple a time on my way to rotterdam & delft uthrecht & Amsterdam to visit friends.

  21. Ruslan dulko

    Let people grow but put regulations on it. All tax from cannabis will cover all it’s costs and decrease pressure from police.

  22. One of a million


    Commenting on the situation in Finland: it’s quite unfair to say that the Finnish Cannabis Association, SKY, wont help patients. SKY activists were helping to get this possibility to Finland in 2006 and still Finland is the only country in Scandinavia and Baltic where there is even a limited possibility to get Bedrocan in the pharmacy. Unfortunately SKY is small, underfunded and it has no possibility to write prescriptions as it has no mandate to do so. There is an association for cannabis using patients that is specialised for this issue, so you can always ask them for help and advice.

  23. The situation is quite unbearable, speaking as someone who has followed the legal battles of cannabis patients in Finland for the last 10 years. It was just last year that quite a few of the few hundred patients that have an active cannabis prescription, had to go for weeks without their medicines being delivered because Bedrocan had a failed grow.

    To be honest, the situation would have been much worse if medical use of cannabis wasn’t an absolute joke in Finland. Valvira has been threatening doctors who have been active in prescribing cannabis and many have stopped renewing prescriptions on top of not issuing out new ones. Anything that’s not gotten a phase 4 study isn’t considered, mostly because of Eija Kalso who is the head of the “pain clinic” and considers cannabis to have no medical value in treating pain, for example. This means Sativex is the only option you can get without seeing a neurologist, and even that isn’t usually an option. If you go and talk to your doctor about considering cannabis as medicine, usually they will just give you a “drug addict” stamp on your papers and on to mandatory drug testing and rehab you go. So of course doctors themselves are fearful of being fired and to be considered as hacks by their co-workers. Even MS-patients have a difficult time aquiring cannabis though in Finland it’s pretty much the only disease you can get a prescription for. Even cancer patients are furiously denied access, and patients suffering from fibromyalgia (like myself), glaucoma, Crohn’s disease etc. have almost zero chance of getting a prescription. For example I myself am very suspectible to the negative effects of SSRI-medication, so all I’ve been hearing from the doctors is I’m running out of options. Even though there’s been studies that have showed cannabis is much much more effective for fibromyalgia patients than the current medications, it’s not considered as a treatment option in my case.

    Finding a doctor even isn’t that easy. The doctors have banned the advertising of their services from patient to patient as to control the amount of patients they have so Valvira won’t attack them. It’s incredibly difficult to find someone willing to share their doctor, I’ve had no luck in the last 3 years I’ve been searching for one. The Finnish Cannabis Association won’t help anyone either. You can only get a prescription from private practices at this moment, no prescriptions have been issued from public healthcare. That also makes it really difficult for those that live on government benefits, as the only medications and treatments they pay for are the ones from public services. If you’re in bad health, poor, and can only use cannabis as medicine, it seems right for the government to make you pay 1000’s of euros a month to have a decent quality of life. The cost of Bedrocan, Bediol etc is around 14-21e a gram, with only one pharmacy selling it for 14 euros. The cost os Sativex is over 600 euros per 3 bottles if I remember right. We definitely need to start up a cannabis agency of our own and focus on developing stains and a smart cultivation program for all the needy patients.

  24. Sandra Tsantilis

    I live in ny. Medical marijuana was legalized here in 2014.
    Is it legal for me to order seeds? Will they be confiscated?

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Sandra,

      Thank you for your comment, I am sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, we cannot send seeds to the US at this time for legal reasons. This is a link to the info and map on where we can currently send seeds: shipping

      With best wishes


  25. Mr.James Hallenbeck

    I been using all my life. Because i have a lot of medical problems. Wish they will legalize it. The government legalise tobacco witch causes cancer.never heard cannabis give people cancer. So i vote for it.

  26. i am sick of greenhouse seeds to many going hermy and i am a expierienced grower please vadvise me

  27. Richard jenkins

    I have found this article to be well researched and clearly presented..Thank you..

    can you inform us if Ivo will be prosecuted by dutch law?


    hopefully good news as your report says most of the globe is following the dutch set up. here in the uk in election year all political parties have said this is a no-go what so ever which i find kind of strange. thank you for keeping us all informed.

  29. hi sir can u ship to malaysia . have any extra charge for shipping . i just want to buy 3strains of autoflowering

  30. bradley hastings

    If they want to label it as being a certain strength, and that’s it, that’s cool. It would make it easier for me to compare and make sure I’m getting the most potent weed possible. Just like I look for the 100 proof vodka instead of that 80 proof shit.

  31. bradley hastings

    Just like Cheech and Chong says: “Anyone who don’t think that marijuana should be re-legalized; well your all fucked!”

  32. Michael D. Irwin

    This is just a way for a government to get around the will of it’s people. What are they going to do, require that every bud in the country be tested? No, they will use this crap as an excuse to stop people from doing what they want by removing access. Just another step in The Screw The People campaign of a repressive gov.

  33. Like alcohol here in the U.S., there are different ‘proofs’ 40,60,70,80,100,151….
    Grain Alcohol or Bacardi’s 151 has a higher proof but is not necessarily considered a “hard” drug when comparing to it’s counterparts. Yes, they have to have a warning label on the bottle but it’s not a separate classification. Think it should apply here.

  34. Cannabis N.I.

    People should be cautious with stronger products, but still no hard drug, just better medicine.

  35. Let Nature take the history … when you put your hands on Humans generally ruin everything …

  36. Bhang Buddie

    This is a real hypocritical act on behalf of a supposedly ‘caring’ society, it would appear to me that Holland has gone back to the dark ages of the Nazi invasion of the 1940’s, when everyone was asked to grass up their neighbour, so it looks like we’re back in the dark days of nazional socialism overtaking Europe.
    I’m 68 and I grow for my physical pain just like Doede de Jong, I also grow quietly for myself just like Doede de Jong, and I hope unobtrusively just like Doede de Jong, however I also live in a dictatorial fascist country (UK) that’s nothing like Holland so what chance do I have.
    Next thing we know it’ll be a hanging offence, so just remember what Martin Niemöller said;

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    So, next 4:20 get your arse in gear and get out on the street otherwise there’ll be no-one left to speak for YOU.

  37. Though this viewpoint may not have been represented at the conference, I would hope it will be considered:

    Imagine “cannabis regulation” incorporated in the UTENSILS used to ingest the substance. Instead of a 500-mg “joint” (giant) which may contain an admixture of tobacco, imagine a VAPORISER or a Long-Drawtube One-Hitter with a narrow screened chamber which admits 25-mg servings of sifted particulate bud.

    Imagine a domestic handwork industry assembling the utensils and retail shops which sell a complete line of one-hitters, vaporisers and DIY sifters. Just by eliminating the mixture with tobacco you may see a severe drop in number of nicotine addicts (strange that the USA, birthplace of modern $igarette marketing, should today have a lower $igarette addiction rate than Europe).

    1. Hi Maxwood, Thanks for your reply!

      The main target of the Dutch cannabis policy as it was set in the seventies, was to protect the health of the people. So your point of view suits that target perfectly. Unfortunately today’s policy (set by Ivo Opstelten) has totally different targets.

      Although I think a lot of people are enjoying the combination of tobacco and cannabis, I personally agree that using a vapo is healthier and the effect is ‘cleaner’ too. Sensi Seeds is offering a selection of great vaporizers in the shop. You can check them here.

  38. If only the UK took an objective view on regulation like the Dutch…
    Unfortunately we are still slaves to the aristocracy, and our inbred overlords’ draconian, even tyrannical laws.
    We didn’t want the war with Iraq, Tony Blair joined Bush in an illegal war anyway.
    Theresa May, although she has the IQ of a down-syndrome goldfish, ignored expert advice and now wants to ban khat.
    David “Cunt” Cameron took Boris “Toupé” Johnson to the EU to defend banker’s bonuses.
    England is no democratic society.

    1. Hi Ron, thanks for your comment. Although 35 mayors joint forces, the rest of the situation in the Netherlands is not much better then it is in the UK I’m afraid. The local governments are waking up, but the federal government is (just like in the UK) ignoring expert advices and they are using false reports in order to make their statement. 65 % of the Dutch citizens want to legalize, 35 mayors want to experiment with cannabis regulation, but one man (Ivo Opstelten) keeps ignoring it all. So for that the Netherlands is no democratic society as well.

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  40. nigel jibber

    Im going to Amsterdam in a few weeks with friends(2nd time this year).Between hotels,food,drink and the coffee shops we each will spend over €2000 in the 3 days.If the weed pass comes in we will go to a different country where hotels,food and drink are cheaper but cannabis is just as available.

  41. if this weit pas cannot be stopped through most of the netherlands i just hope the mayors of the large cities can refuse to introduce it. I read somewhere on the internet amsterdam had signed some policy thing and it said because of that the earliest the weit pas could be introduced there would be january 2015 would like to know if thats made up crap or true !

    1. When the government announced the wietpas to the nation, Amsterdam’s Mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, declared that it would not be implemented before 2015 but without having much guaranty that his statement would be true until then.
      Once the government voted the application of the law on the whole national territory starting from January 1st 2013, mayors have no right to go against a national law, even the mayor of Amsterdam.

      There is still hope though, because the Dutch government resigned earlier this year and a new cabinet must be appointed – and even though no one talks about it, the fore coming elections will be held on September 12th 2012 in the Netherlands-. Having a new coalition ruling the country means they can decide to give up this law that has already shown many ill consequences and reverse it in the southern regions.

  42. Robert Kerr

    It seems to me that this is a learning experience for all of us. Firsts for the mayor, that what is made illegal goes underground quickly, and, that cannabis use is not something to be ashamed of. For the users and patients who love and need the cannabis, to be respectful and patient, and to work with the local government until a possitive outcome is achieved.

  43. And I thought the dutch people were much more intelligent then others…..the mayor is a joke…

  44. DexterSinister

    Swedish residents can definitely order seeds from the Sensi Seeds web-shop.

    It is legal to possess cannabis seeds in Sweden, but of course it is not legal to grow them into cannabis plants!

  45. Cannabis Day

    Surely it would be better for coffeeshops to publish the THC/CBD/CBN content on menus so the customers can decide? Like they do the alcohol content in drinks.

  46. This is just ridiculous. Studies have proven that the liberal Marijuana politics have had beneficial effects on dutch society, less residents per capita smoke THC in this country than in the US, Canada, France, UK, Italy, Spain and more countries!

    The neo-liberal-conservative xenophobe government wants to ignore all these facts and reverse to more illegality, black market and criminality, great, just stupendous!

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    Sensi Seeds

    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
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    Maurice Veldman

    Maurice Veldman is a member of the Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers and one of the Netherlands’ most notable cannabis lawyers. With 25 years’ experience in the field, his knowledge of criminal and administrative law supports cannabis sellers and hemp producers by addressing the inequalities between the individual and the state.
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