Dutch mayor wants to ban ‘too strong’ cannabis

The city of Leeuwarden is looking for ways to prevent cannabis with ‘too high’ THC amounts making its way onto the shelves of coffeeshops. The city mayor, Fred Crone, hopes that this will bring down the number of cases of psychosis induced by cannabis amongst young people.

Crone has submitted a proposal to the city council which would see coffee shops eventually lose their licence if they sell marijuana with more than an agreed level of the active ingredient THC.

While THC levels of cannabis available in Dutch coffeeshops indeed saw an increase between the 80’s and early 00’s, it stabilized since. In addition, no scientific research exists that proofs that a higher THC amount is related to more cases of psychosis.

Leeuwarden cannabis cafe owner Gerrit-Jan ten Bloemendal told the paper the plan was well meant but impossible to enforce. There is no evidence stronger levels of THC are worse for health, he said. 'If you know something is strong, you smoke less,' he told the paper.

Many coffeeshop owners are reluctant to have their product tested, as they fear that police might use this data as proof in investigation on suspected growers. Besides, the tests are still relatively expensive and time consuming.

Neverthess, from a consumer's point of view it would be useful to be able to add THC and CBD percentages as additional product information on the menu, as happens with alcohol. Medicinal users would benefit from this as well, because they would be able to select a strain that suits their needs.