Given that cannabis remains federally illegal in the United States (despite the fact that more than a majority of states have some form of cannabis legal reform), we get pretty excited when we see other countries undertake legalization experiments at the federal level. Canada was the first country to legalize commercial licensing for the cultivation, production, distribution, and sale of adult use cannabis products. Certain other countries have followed suit since Canada, and now the Netherlands is maybe throwing its hat into the ring.
If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you’re familiar with the extremely popular and well known coffee shops that sell cannabis (up to 5 grams) to patrons (over 18) for personal consumption on site. Like any good tourist, when I visited Amsterdam for the first time back in 2013 (after Washington and Colorado legalized cannabis for adults 21 and up), I headed straight for the coffee shops to see for myself as a U.S.-based cannabis industry attorney just how they operated under Dutch and local laws.
The Netherlands and cannabis have a pretty interesting legal relationship. Mexico gets a bad wrap because of its notorious drug cartels, but the truth is that the Netherlands isn’t that