Cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands

Are you considering founding a cannabis company in the Netherlands? To limit the illicit manufacture, usage, and sale of narcotics, the Netherlands has implemented a special tolerance policy for cannabis sales, which includes marijuana and hash. Read on to learn more about protecting your business and working within the law when entering this increasingly lucrative market.


To start a cannabis business, you’ll need a “gedoogverklaring” (tolerance statement) and an operating license for the catering sector (“horeca”). The tolerance statement is based on the maximum number of coffee shops permitted in that municipality. This amount varies depending on the municipality. Some localities maintain waiting lists for the tolerance statement. The municipality may impose additional restrictions to apply for the waiting list.

Cannabis company regulations

There are numerous regulations to follow if you wish to start a Dutch coffee shop. In addition, coffee cafes are subject to additional restrictions. The AHOJGI criteria summarize the main rules for all coffee businesses. However, different laws may apply depending on the municipality. It is entirely up to the municipality to determine whether coffee shops are permitted to conduct business within the confines of the municipality’s rules. For example, coffee shops may not be located near schools or other coffee shops or be prohibited from occupying particular locations. Furthermore, severe accounting, terms of sale, and public counter-sales laws may apply.

Cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands

Cannabis cultivation is currently illegal in the Netherlands, while marijuana consumption is permitted. Individuals may, however, own up to five cannabis plants for non-commercial purposes. Possession of more than five cannabis plants may result in prosecution. The Bureau of Medicinal Cannabis (BMC) of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport regulates medical cannabis. Any application to grow medical marijuana must go through this organization.

Possibilities for new growers

The trial’s controlled cannabis supply chain creates opportunities for new farmers since up to 10 new growers will be chosen. While participating in the study, these individuals or firms will be legally permitted to cultivate and sell cannabis to coffee shops. These new growers will be subject to certain standards about facilities, quality control, security, record keeping, employee requirements, and production projections. Those interested may submit an application, which will be considered.

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