What the Dutch can teach the world about cannabis

When the Financial Times told me to go and smoke pot in Amsterdam, I asked a friend there to recommend a good "coffee shop" (Dutch-English for cannabis cafe). Her reply was very Dutch: "I've never been to one." She chose the Paradox, the one nearest her son's school, so she could collect him afterwards.

Now we're sitting in what feels like a cosy, cushion-strewn living room, surrounded by well-behaved, well-dressed, quiet 20-somethings from around the world. The cafe's owner, Ludo Bossaert, who opened the Paradox 27 years ago, recommends a €5 ($8) joint of "Pure Special Haze Mix". According to the shop's extensive menu, it will provide a "super high". I become possibly the first person in the Paradox's history to ask for a receipt.


How to talk cannabis in seven different countries

Traveling to the Netherlands? Russia? This weed slang guide will make sure you’re never dry.


Welcome to Amsterdam, birthplace of the Cannabis Cup

Today, there are several High Times Cannabis Cup events around the world exalting the best the industry has to offer. But the OG Cup is the one first held in Amsterdam, over 30 years ago. It’s been a long journey, both for the Cup and for cannabis on a global scale.

As we prepare to return to Amsterdam July 13-15, let’s take a look back at how we got here.

Cannabis Cup was founded by High Times’ then-editor-in-chief Steven Hager, who was inspired by stories of NorCal harvest festivals at which growers would get together and compare that year’s crops. Hager had previously traveled to the Netherlands in 1986 to write a feature on cannabis breeder Nevil Schoenmakers, who founded the first cannabis seedbank, and his infamous ‘cannabis castle.’


The 6 most advanced countries for marijuana research

The most advanced countries for marijuana research are using science to defeat the stigma while getting people the medicine they need.

It is commonly known that the U.S. is not apart of the most advanced countries for marijuana research. Due to its legal status, receiving funding for cannabis research has been proven quite difficult in the U.S. The government still holds restrictive policies and regulations on research that will look into the benefits and risks of cannabis, which is available to consumers in numerous states.


The Netherlands isn't as weed-friendly as it used to be

Travelers hoping to take advantage of the Netherlands’ lax weed laws during their next visit may want to rethink their itinerary.

Several cities across the marijuana-friendly country recently have taken steps to limit the public use of cannabis.

This week, The Hague became the first Dutch city to ban it in the city center, the central train station, and major shopping areas.


Netherlands: Regulated marijuana production test will include health warnings

The Dutch government’s experiment with regulated marijuana is unlikely to start before the end of 2019 at the earliest and will run for five years and two months, the Volkskrant reported on Tuesday.

In addition, the trials will go hand in hand with a publicity campaign warning people about the risks associated with smoking marijuana and coffee shops which sell the ‘legal’ drug will have to actively inform their clients about potential health problems, the paper said.

The Volkskrant bases its claims on a draft of the law legalising regulated cultivation which has been sent out to consultation to various organisations, including the police, public prosecution department and local authority association.


Switzerland is considering a trial program for Amsterdam-style cannabis cafés

The Swiss legislature is considering a bill that would allow Cannabis research as well as a trial program for Amsterdam-style cannabis cafés in the European country, writes Calvin Hughes.

The proposed trial would allow 1,000 people to purchase cannabis legally from government-approved establishments. The process would be evaluated and used as a base for any future cannabis legislation.


Dutch ministers outline 4-year trial to supply cannabis to coffeeshops

Today cannabis is sold openly in 573 ‘coffeeshops’ operating in 103 of the 380 municipalities in the Netherlands.

While local authorities have tolerated the sale of cannabis under certain conditions in these outlets for many years, the supply of the drug to the coffeeshops is not officially permitted.

This has created an illicit market in cannabis production and wholesale distribution. In October 2017, the Dutch government declared its intention to permit an experiment on the legal supply of cannabis to coffeeshops to be carried out in up to ten medium to large-sized municipalities.


Netherlands to trial recreational cannabis cultivation

Dutch ministers have outlined plans to regulate cannabis cultivation in certain parts of the Netherlands for a trial period.

In a letter to the Dutch Parliament published on 9 March, two senior ministers - justice minister, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, and medical care minister, Bruno Bruins - outlined plans to allow the legal cultivation of cannabis for recreational purposes in several municipalities for four years.


What can Canada learn from Amsterdam ahead of marijuana legalization?

Two of my biggest passions are travelling and telling stories. So when I was in Amsterdam last week armed with my cellphone, I combined them both.

I have been curious to see how the federal government will legalize marijuana in this country – and I was fascinated by what I learned talking to people who live in Amsterdam – a city known for it’s “coffeeshops” that in reality sell marijuana.

Over the past forty years they have become part of the culture in Amsterdam. It is as normal as walking into a bar here for a drink.


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