Before we get started with the answers to all your frequently asked questions about coffeeshops, take a brief look at the history of the dutch coffeeshop system.

The early 1970’s

During the early years of the 1970’s there was a hippie movement taking place in Amsterdam. There were many ways to buy cannabis but all of them involved trust issues. During those time a small group around Wernard Bruining, the founder of the Mellow Yellow, started to run a tea shop. That tea shop had a unique feature. There was a dealer sat at one of the tables and only he was allowed to sell his products. That dealer was part of the tea house operation, but he pretended to be an ordinary customer.

This concept got copied very fast and got commercialized very quick. The so born coffeeshops where to some degree tolerated by the local governments. And the dutch government started to plan decriminalization of so called soft drugs. The really large step happened when, in 1976, the dutch government stated to tolerate the possession of up to 30 gram cannabis.

During the early days of the coffeeshop system The Bulldog got the first license and runs since than as #1.

Current Situation

The current situation in the Netherlands is that the possession of up to 5 gram cannabis is tolerated. Coffeeshops are allowed to have 500 gram cannabis products on stock. Coffeeshops are tolerated and bound to local regulations. Amsterdam for example is not giving out new coffeeshop licences, but you can buy existing licences. Other locations give out new licenses at their discretion. Local regulations might also restrict to whom coffeeshops are allowed to sell. In Maastricht the coffeeshops are not allowed to sell to foreigners. That ruling was introduced to prevent people from Aachen to just drive across the border and bring cannabis back to Germany.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most people when they first hear about coffeeshops have some questions. Here you find the answers to the most common questions. If you find something that is not answered here leave a comment or contact us with the contact form.