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Cannabis cafes win compensation for loss of trade under 'wietpas' law

A court has ordered the Dutch government to pay compensation to coffeeshops who lost business as a result of the abandoned ‘wietpas’ law.

Coffeeshops lost 'disproportionate' amounts of business as a result of the law, a court has ruled.The district court in The Hague said the rules, which were introduced in the three southern provinces last May, represented a “disproportionate incursion into the interests of coffeeshop visitors”.

Under the law licensed cannabis cafes were turned into private clubs with an upper limit of 2000 members. Coffeeshop visitors could only buy drugs from the premises where they were registered as a member.

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Utrecht sets up Netherlands' first 'cannabis club' to create legal supply chain

Utrecht has become the first city in the Netherlands to set up its own cannabis growers’ club for recreational use.

Utrecht wants to create a legal supply chain and take cannabis production out of the domain of criminal law.The Social Cannabis Club Domstad has been registered with the local chamber of commerce so that a small group of approved growers can cultivate the drug under the supervision of the local authority.

The municipal council has asked the ministry of justice to give the club an exemption from the opium law, similar to those granted to producers of medicinal cannabis.

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Three-quarters of Dutch cannabis cafes will turn blind eye to official ban on tourists

Well over half of Dutch coffeeshops will continue to admit tourists from January 1 despite an official government ban on non-residents.

Our TargetMap illustrates where tourists will be allowed to visit coffeeshops in the Netherlands from 2013.A survey by The Amsterdam Herald found more than a dozen municipalities are not planning to enforce the rule that customers must show evidence that they live in the Netherlands.

The mayor of Amsterdam, which has 220 coffeeshops – around one-third of the total – has already stated publicly that visitors will not be turned away.

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Court ruling on cannabis growers prompts fresh demands for legal supply chain

A court has ruled that two cannabis farmers who supplied coffeeshops in Groningen should not be punished because they effectively ran a legitimate business.

The court said there was a lack of clarity over how coffeeshops should buy in their supplies.The 49-year-old man and his 39-year-old female partner cultivated cannabis on two plantations in Bellingwolde and Bierum. The court heard they used approved biological techniques, paid their electricity bills and even had an arrangment with the tax office.

The prosecution service asked for work orders of 180 and 120 hours to be imposed on the couple, but the court decided they should not be penalised despite finding them guilty. Judges found that the plantations were run responsibly and had no links with the criminal fraternity.

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Police raid Maastricht coffeeshops after owners let tourists back in

Police have raided several coffeeshops in Maastricht after their owners indicated they would revert to selling soft drugs to foreign visitors.

It is the first time police have intervened to enforce the new regulations banning tourists from coffeeshops.Local news service L1 reported that around 10 busloads of officers visited the Mississippi, a floating cannabis café moored on Wilelminakade, at about 9pm on Monday.

Around 15 non-Dutch residents were inside the boat at the time, in contravention of new laws designed to reduce so-called drugs tourism. Police led away the owner and confiscated the ship’s supplies.

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Read more: Police raid Maastricht coffeeshops after owners let tourists back in

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