Following new rules set earlier this year, eight coffeeshops in the Dutch border towns Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom are no longer allowed to sell cannabis. Under the ban, the shops are allowed to stay open and serve alcohol but not marijuana. If they continued to sell marijuana, they could be punished with a five year closure.
The ban comes in an attempt from the mayors of these towns to stop the many Belgian and French ‘weed-tourists’ from making advantage of the Dutch policy that tolerates retail marijuana sales. Each week, the border towns are frequented by an estimated 25,000 foreigners who come to buy their stash.
Last week, ministers of the three most influential political parties wrote they aim to reduce the number of coffeeshops, and contemplate imposing restrictions by creating a ‘members-only’ system. Needless to say, this could have big consequences for cities as Amsterdam and its many tourists seeking to shop for their favorite herb.
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