Medical Cannabis Social Club conquers the Netherlands

Suver Nuver, a Medical Cannabis Social Club from the Netherlands, grows at top speed. The foundation will open locations in Amsterdam and Leiden during the first part of this year. Members can order a variety of cannabis medications on a free donation base. The medicines will be sent by post. The club only offers cannabis extractions like oils, concentrates, ointments and tinctures. Plant material or buds are not available.

Cannabis Social Clubs

The idea of a Social Club originates in Spain during the 90s. The clubs are not commercial and only accessible to members. They give the club written permission to cultivate their plants - as many as every individual is tolerated to have (5 plants in the Netherlands).

Rinus Beintema

In 2014, the Amsterdam ‘Tree of Life’ was founded on these principles. Suver Nuver differs from ordinary Social Clubs, because they only focus on medical use of cannabis. They don’t want to replace the coffeeshop, but view themselves as complementary. Also, the written permission to cultivate plants is not obligatory.

Growth

Initiator Rinus Beintema opened the first location in Leeuwarden in October 2015. Soon Groningen and Zwolle followed. Together these three locations now have more than 3500 members. The last months they saw an increase of 500 members per month. This probably will accelerate now Suver Nuver is expanding to the west of the Netherlands. The club locations function only as a meeting-and-information point for members. There’s no exchange of cannabis products on the spot.

Legalisation

Cannabis oil is sent to patients with a wide variety of illnesses. Think of cancer, MS, Crohn and rheumatism. Besides helping people, Beintema also hopes his initiative will give new input to the discussion on cannabis legalisation.

Medical cannabis can only be acquired legally under strict conditions (and at high costs). Beintema hopes his actions will lead to a court case, in which regulations around cannabis will be re-evaluated. However, up till now the Justice department did not respond at all. Local governments act responsive: they don’t give official permission, but agree to join the conversation.

Waste plant material

To create cannabis extractions, Suver Nuver mainly uses waste plant material, which they collect from sympathising growers. This makes it possible to produce the medicines at very low costs. Now that the organisation got bigger, they also started to cultivate their own plants.

Sources/Read more:

  • Website Suver Nuver
  • Derrick Bergman. ‘We’re gonna poke everyone with pitchforks’: Dutch ‘Medical Social Club’ pushes limits. Leafly, 31 May 2016.
  • Derrick Bergman. Cannabisclubs in Nederland: de stand van zaken. RollingStoned, 4 October 2016.
  • Rinus Beintema. De start van Social Club Friesland. Mediwietsite, 9 November 2016.
  • Roelof van Dalen. Noordelijke wietclub breidt uit door heel Nederland. Dagblad van het Noorden, 21 October 2016.
  • Nicole Maalsté. Suver Nuver: 17.500 wietplanten, nieuwe clubs Eindhoven en Leiden én oplossing voor knipafval. RollingStoned 18 October 2016.
  • Suver Nuver komt naar Amsterdam. Mediwietsite. 28 November 2016.
  • Derrick Bergman. Primeur: 1e Cannabis Social Club. RollingStoned, 28 October 2014.

Author: Judith