Petition to Help Amsterdam Coffeeshops

Mar 12, 2021

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DNA Genetics

DNA Genetics

THE VISITORS PETITION: Help Amsterdam coffeeshop tourism (PETITION LINK)

For over 40 years, coffeeshops have played a very important role in Dutch tourism for like-minded individuals to go and relax and partake in the safe use of Cannabis. They are often unique and beautiful in their own right and have played an integral part in Dutch society.

Since DNA Genetics arrived in the Netherlands back in 2003, the entire cannabis community have made us feel safe and welcome, it is our home. We still have our flagship store located at 41 Sint Nicolaasstraat just a short walk pace from the famous Dam Sqaure.

You may have heard in recent news of laws surrounding the ban of foreign tourism and coffeeshops within Amsterdam. Initially this idea was enforced only in the border towns surrounding the country essentially to stop what has been termed as “drug tourism”. Amsterdam’s mayor at the time fought tooth and nail to make sure this did not become the case in the capital. We are sorry to see that recently this conversation coming back up with the current mayor of Amsterdam wishing to enforce this ban further by prohibiting any foreign visitors from using or buying cannabis in any of Amsterdam’s surviving Coffeeshops.

We do not wish to believe that this is going to happen. This is a large part of our culture and identity here in the Netherlands. We have been working tirelessly as a society and as a team to introduce this amazing plant all over the world, with many countries now fully legalizing and suddenly now the Netherlands, the former epicenter of cannabis culture, is moving backwards?

Let's go back to where the history of coffeeshops began in 1972, first open Mellow Yellow, they were the first tea house to serve cannabis alongside its’ regular teas and coffees. After a few years of success, this business model was slowly adopted by many other shops, including the Bulldog which later opened in 1975. The idea of licensing the sale of cannabis was introduced in the 1970s for the explicit purpose of keeping hard and soft drugs separated. Currently, under the laws of the Netherlands, the small scale sale and recreational use of marijuana is allowed or “tolerated”, and the goods are sold by licensed coffeeshops around the country. These shops also serve some food and drinks, including the preverbal coffee. Unfortunately, due to tightening restrictions in the Netherlands and Amsterdam, the Mellow Yellow had to close its’ doors in 2017 due to being too close to a school. Thus Amsterdam, and the cannabis community at large, lost a legend.

Over the past 10 years the Netherlands has been systematically making it more and more difficult for our beloved shops to remain open and nearly impossible to attain new licensees. Coffeeshops have been operating and, for the most part, thriving in the Netherlands for 49 years. Sadly, the number of coffeeshops in the capitol has dwindled from 283 to a mere 166 since 2012. During these difficuult times with Corona, they are still offering take-out only purchases and have been deemed an “essential service” since the shutdowns began last April. We should not forget that they are helping the NL economy and most importantly, they are providing a one of kind experience for locals and foreigners alike to be introduced to cannabis in a safe and friendly environment. 

We know many countries, especially during this pandemic, are trying to keep their economies alive while managing the number of cases. These days, while we are experiencing an intense lack of economic activity, we as the cannabis socitey, must continue to stand with our community in the face of these hardships and continue to support each other, giving a message of unity and solidarity throughout the industry.

We are in a period where one must be very cautious, but also resilient. We will never break our morale; we look to the future with hope.

Please help and support by sharing across to any social media platforms.

We invite you all to sign this petition below and help play your part in protecting our coffeshops and the future of Amsterdam's canna-community.

You can sign the Petition here

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