Dutch Parliament submits bill to regulate cannabis cultivation
Legislation For the first time in its history, a majority of Dutch Members of Parliament are in favour of regulating cannabis cultivation. One of the main parties has just submitted a proposal for a new bill. Read more about this incredible development in this article.
Hot on the heels of last week’s breakthrough decision by the mayor of Tilburg to permit medicinal cannabis users to grow five plants indoors comes the announcement that a majority of the Tweede Kamer, the Dutch equivalent of the House of Commons, is now in favour of legalising cannabis cultivation to supply coffeshops in the Netherlands.
The core of the bill is to enable coffee shop owners to be able to purchase cannabis legally from “licensees” who would be able to cultivate it in a regulated system, including quality controls on the end product. Current policy dictates that cannabis can be sold and stored in coffeeshops, but that every other part of the production and supply process is criminalized. Cannabis grow operations without a license will still be dismantled. The request to regulate the so-called ‘back door problem’ has been on the table for many months already with dozens of mayors insisting on a legislative adjustment.
The most noteworthy element here is that the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) has taken a stance against its coalition partner, the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy).
The PvdA hesitated over this step for a long time. “There is a lot of inconvenience, insecurity and criminality linked to the current tolerance policy in place in the Netherlands,” said MP Marith Volp. “The PvdA therefore wants another system, which controls who is able to grow. We are in favour of the proposal.” Justice Minister Ard van der Steur remains opposed to the proposition, despite grass-roots support from mayors of around 60 Dutch municipalities, and stated that it remained unproven that legalizing cannabis cultivation would reduce crime. Given that every coffeeshop in the Netherlands is currently supplied by illegal cultivation, this seems a breathtakingly obtuse statement.
This cross-party support for progressive cannabis legislation echoes recent developments in the UK. As always, Sensi Seeds will continue to report on developments.