In the Netherlands one has long been able to buy marijuana from cannabis clubs. However, it is still illegal to actually grow marijuana and there are stiff penalties. Sales and possession are legal however. This has caused organised crime to flourish as one cannot legally grow cannabis. This also allows a lot of poor quality cannabis to be put on the market, and hinders the development of better varieties of cannabis for both recreational and medical purposes. Fortunately the cannabis industry and the Dutch government realise this is inconsistent, and they are dealing with this.
Ten Dutch cities are allowing the cultivation of marijuana on a trial basis. These cities are medium sized and do not include the capital. The government currently in the process of licensing growers and choosing the companies allowed to supply the coffee shops. Cannabis from these legal producers will enter the coffeeshops and general marketplace in 2021. The Netherlands could become the first European country to completely legalise cannabis. The law takes effect January, 2020. A major problem with this is holds the cultivation of cannabis in an experimental phase for at least 4 years, and up to nearly six years. Meaning while the Netherlands will have the first European nation to have completely legal cannabis cultivation, quickly other European nations will likely legalise cannabis quickly as well. In terms of innovation of both recreational and medical products, the Netherlands will likely fall behind other nations until they have legalisation beyond the testing phase.
After the government sees what works and what doesn’t, they will do on with full legalisation. They are studying legalisation in Canada as well, to learn from Canada’s mistakes in combating black market marijuana. Those who need marijuana for medical purposes have to go to a cannabis club, as the Dutch pharmaceutical industry has been slow to develop medical marijuana products, and the Dutch government has been slow to realise the potential. Meaning those suffering from illness are unlikely to be able to get the correct dosages of CBD or THC to alleviate chronic medical conditions as recreational products are do not have the measured dosages of properly developed medical products. This is a shame in a nation that was the first place to allow the smoking of marijuana legally and the first to allow cannabis tourism. Those chronically ill individuals who can demonstrate a need are permitted to grow their own marijuana at home. Still at home one does not have a high tech laboratory to produce quality medical products. On a long term basis, obviously it is insufficient to tell chronically ill people to grow their own cannabis at home, and its why activists are pushing for full legalisation. This research was made possible by Candid Chronicle, to which I am very grateful.