Amsterdam has been one of the pioneers in the global fight to end cannabis prohibition, ever since the Mellow Yellow coffeeshop was founded in 1972 by Wernard Bruinin. More coffeeshops soon followed and Amsterdam became a model for those working to legalize cannabis across the nation. The Dutch city proved that you could allow cannabis commerce and the sky wouldn’t fall. You could create jobs, generate revenue and demonstrate that youth smoking rates and overall crime wouldn’t skyrocket. However, as Canada and various states in the United States have passed legalization laws, many Amsterdam entrepreneurs are envious, as CNBC reports:
“The most difficult thing about having a coffee shop in the Netherlands is that it’s allowed to sell it, but it’s not allowed to buy it,” said Joachim Helms, co-owner of Green House Coffeeshops in Amsterdam and chairman of the Dutch Cannabis Retailers Association.
The Dutch government is planning an experiment with legal marijuana production in a handful of municipalities. But it’s just a small step in an increasingly growing legal weed market. The global legal marijuana market is expected to reach $146 billion by 2025, according to consulting firm Grand View Research.
Helms said he looks forward to the day when the Netherlands is home to publicly-traded marijuana companies, like those that already in exist in Canada.
“To walk around in those companies and facilities for us is really a dream come true because it’s growing weed in a 100 percent legal way,” he said.
The legalization of cannabis commerce is a bumpy ride and while the Amsterdam model helped pave the way, entrepreneurs there are seeing that their business models can be more efficient by following advances in North America. Many activists and industry participants in North America can still see the value in how Amsterdam allows for consumption at cafes, something that still eludes many.
The global cannabis industry will certainly continue to learn from one another as we become intertwined more and more in a global market. Advances in one nation help push forward progress in another and so on and so on. If we keep educating each other and fully implement laws that unlock the science of the plant and the creativity of our entrepreneurs, the future looks bright for the international cannabis community.
Be a part of the revolutionary global movement to end cannabis prohibition, while creating jobs and revenue around the world. Join us at the International Cannabis Business Conference next week, September 27th-28th in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Learn the latest information and network with top investors, entrepreneurs, and activists from around the world. Get your tickets today!