The Ultimate Amsterdam Travel Guide made by locals…

Coffeeshops in Amsterdam

Coffeeshop law

Tourists can still visit coffeeshops in Amsterdam in 2015
In the Netherlands we have a tolerance policy regarding the selling of cannabis (weed, hash, marijuana). Selling cannabis in coffee shops is illegal, but not punishable. That sounds strange of course, but the Dutch Drugs Law is the key to success in lowering the crime. Coffeeshops in Amsterdam have to pay taxes and the authorities have a clear view on this market. In this way it is easier to influence and control the sale of cannabis. Smoking cannabis is legal and people don’t have to buy drugs from dealers or criminals. In this way, also the quality of cannabis is guaranteed, so that health risks are minimized.

However there is a contradiction in the Dutch Drugs Law. Coffeeshops are allowed to buy and sell cannabis; however suppliers are not allowed to plant and sell it to the coffeeshop. This is also known as the “Back Door Policy”.

There are 2 groups of drugs in the Netherlands: soft drugs as weed, hash, marijuana and hard drugs as XTC, cocaine & heroin. Hard drugs are, as in many countries, forbidden in the Netherlands.

Regulations for coffeeshops in Amsterdam

Cannabis Coffeeshops in Amsterdam

A coffeeshop has to follow a few rules regarding the selling of cannabis:

  • Not allowed to sell alcohol
  • No hard drug sales
  • No sales to anyone under the age of 18
  • Maximum of five grams of cannabis per person
  • Advertising drugs is not permitted

Because coffee shops are not allowed to advertise, you can recognize them on the Ethiopian flag (red-yellow-green), sometimes with a cannabis leave on it. You are allowed to smoke weed in a coffee shop, but tobacco is forbidden because of the Dutch smoking ban.

The city of Amsterdam has a policy to maintain a small-scale coffeeshop sector. Amsterdam can determine how many coffee shops are permitted to sell cannabis. At the end of 2012 there were 221 coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Most of them are located in the city center.


Tourists can still visit Amsterdam coffeeshops in 2015

Every year 5 million tourists are visiting Amsterdam. Many of them visit coffeeshops as well.
Starting in 2013, a new law was about to allow residents only to the coffeeshops. But the mayor of Amsterdam decided differently and therefore coffeeshops will still be open for tourists as well. Otherwise the authorities fear that this would increase the street trade in soft drugs and increase criminal activities.

Quality

CannabisThe cannabis available in coffeeshops is much stronger than foreign visitors are used to. One should take this into account. Therefore the best thing is not to order the pre-rolled joints or space cake if you are not sure how you will react on this. One can always ask the staff members for advice.

We have selected 15 of the most popular and best coffee shops in Amsterdam.
Need a place to stay? Check out some of the best Smoker Friendly Hotels & Hostels in Amsterdam.

Please note that the following information is provided to give you an idea about the Dutch Drugs Law and coffeeshops in Amsterdam.

 

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1 Comment
  1. I have been visiting Amsterdam since the 1980’s, last time was March of 2013. I’m actually trying to find a way to move and live there. I can’t see them ever banning the sale of weed from tourist, it would kill it for me if they did. Besides, 5 million tourist buying weed adds up to a lot of income for the city. Amsterdam Rocks!

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