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Cannabis cafe (coffee shop)

This information is provided by: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

In the Netherlands, selling drugs is illegal. However, some municipalities allow the sale of soft drugs in so-called coffee shops (cannabis cafes). Their owners will not be prosecuted if their establishment fulfils strict requirements. When allowed, they usually require an operating permit for a catering establishment. Please note that many municipalities do not allow coffee shops at all.

It is illegal to grow hemp plants intended for making soft drugs. This also applies to acts of preparation with regard to illegal hemp production.

Residence criterion

Coffee shops owners must always be able to determine that the person to whom they sell soft drugs, lives in the Netherlands and is 18 years of age or older. To be able to do so, their customers are required to show a valid identification, or a residence permit combined with an extract from the municipal personal records database (Basisregistratie personen, BRP).

Probity Screening

The municipality will sometimes apply the Dutch Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act (Wet Bibob) before granting the permit. If it should emerge that you have a criminal past or that you have criminal connections, the municipality may refuse or withdraw a permit.

This information is provided by:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency