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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

Dutch will limit strength of cannabis sold in coffee shops

The most powerful ‘skunk’ varieties will be banned, and classed alongside heroin and cocaine.

A coffee shop customer smoking a joint
A coffee shop customer smoking a joint
Image: ERMINDO ARMINO/AP/Press Association Images

THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT has announced it will impose restrictions on the sale of powerful cannabis in the country’s famous coffee shops, saying the drug has grown far stronger over the last few years.

Under the new plans, cannabis with a high level of the active ingredient THC will be reclassified in the same category as ‘hard’ drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Coffee shops will no longer be able to sell anything higher than 15 per cent THC – a serious blow, as this includes around 80 per cent of the varieties currently on sale, according to the BBC.

The new restrictions come on the heels of recent moves to restrict access to coffee shops, with tourists banned from the stores in Maastricht in a move due to be rolled out across the country next year.

One coffee shop owner told Reuters that the move would increase his sales, but ultimately be bad for smokers. Marc Josemans said: “All this will do is lead to people smoking more joints and me selling more grams. But as it’s used with tobacco it will damage their health more.”

Read more: Dutch city bans foreign tourists from cannabis coffee shops>

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Michael Freeman

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