Logo of the Dutch governmentGo to homepage

Government information for entrepreneurs

Applying for dispensation from the Opium Act

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

You are not permitted to have drugs which are banned under the Dutch Opium ActExternal link (Opiumwet) on your business premises. Furthermore, you are not allowed to prepare, treat, process, sell, supply, provide or transport these substances. You are only allowed to do so when you have dispensation from the Opium Act. The obligation to request dispensation does not apply to physicians, pharmacists, GP surgery dispensaries and hospitals for certain activities.

Dispensation for growing hemp

Dispensation from the opium act is also required for the preparation of and the growing of hemp. Without dispensation, you are committing a criminal offence.

Medicinal cannabis

Pharmacists and research institutions, such as universities and hospitals, that need legal medicinal cannabisExternal link, should contact the Dutch Office for Medicinal Cannabis (OMC).

Import and export

Import and export by pharmaceutical companies is also only allowed with a dispensation. You can obtain this dispensation from FarmatecExternal link, which is part of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO