Amsterdam’s Alcohol-Selling Coffee Shops To Lose Cannabis Privileges.

Amsterdam’s coffee shops, where cannabis and alcohol top the menu, suffered a knockout blow on Wednesday when the city council announced the cafes will in future have to decide which ‘drug of choice’ to sell. In other cities and towns in the Netherlands, cannabis cafes are tolerated as long as they do not sell alcohol on the same premises. Cafes in the capital have an exemption from this regulation, but Amsterdam City Council said this privilege would be withdrawn in the next three years. From now until 2006, coffee shop owners in Amsterdam will be given the opportunity to continue business as an alcohol-free cafe or to stop selling soft drugs. The new plan is the latest in a string of blows to hit the Dutch cannabis industry. On 5 May, the Justice Ministry said it was considering imposing restrictions on the active THC content in locally produced cannabis. A few days before that, the Health Ministry seemed to put the future of all coffee shops at risk when it said they would have to provide a smoke-free environment for staff by the beginning of 2004.
Source: Dutch associated Press. June 2003

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