According to WION, the Amsterdam, Netherlands city council is expected to vote against a proposal to ban tourists and visitors from consuming cannabis in coffee shops.
The vote will take place October 5th.
Coffee shop owners, representatives, and researchers vocalized their opposition during a debate last week.
Coffee shop owners argue that the ban would hurt business and that it is the tourists who help to keep their businesses afloat. They also argue that the ban would force coffee shops to become locals-only clubs, which would exclude many people from being able to purchase cannabis legally. Researchers also voiced concerns about the proposed ban, arguing that it could lead to an increase in crime and black-market activity.
The plan to vote on a tourist ban was announced in 2020 by Mayor Femke Halsema. The police chief, public prosecutor, and Mayor Halsema believe a tourist ban at coffee shops will slow the growth of gray-market ‘soft drugs’, solve the residents’ “annoyances,” and combat crime.
A recent report published by the Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten business group found that just under half of all tourists visit the Netherlands specifically for cannabis, and only 24% of those visitors would still come to the country even if they were prohibited from accessing cannabis.
There are more than 100 coffee shops that serve tourists according to Ganapreneur. The coffee shops vary in price and quality, but most offer a wide variety of drinks and food items.