Dutch Government Reopens Cannabis Cafes Following Coronavirus Lockdown

The lockdown was reversed following an outbreak of panic buying which saw cannabis cafes swamped by massive queues.

The infamous "Dutch coffee shops" and cannabis cafes of Amsterdam faced queues in the hundreds earlier this week after the Netherlands Government ordered their closure to combat the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers were lining up in droves as they attempted to beat the clock and skirt around closure deadline in an attempt to stockpile enough weed to last the duration of the lockdown, which was announced along with the closure of numerous schools and businesses.

For maybe for the next two months we're not able to get some weed so it should be nice to at least have some in the house. My friend called me like five minutes ago, he saw the press conference—good friend. Anonymous buyer interviewed in The Hague

The cannabis queues began building almost immediately following the announcement of closures by Health Minister Bruno Bruins, despite his "urgent appeal" to Dutch citizens that they should "not hoard".

"It is not necessary," Bruins said.  

The lockdown was originally expected to last until April 6, however the mass panic buying—coupled with fears it would reignite the country's illegal drug trade—prompted the Holland government to reconsider its plans.

The revised quarantine measures mean that the country's cannabis cafes will be allowed to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, although they will be limited to the sale of takeaway cannabis purchases only.

Conversely, consuming cannabis on site at the café—which is typical for most patrons—will still remain prohibited until the current quarantine measures are lifted.

According to an Irish woman who gave her name as Hannah, the panic buying was prompted by the possibility of long quarantine period which could see much of the country forced to remain indoors.

The world has been in a panic ever since the new Chinese coronavirus disease—which is now officially known as COVID-19—began stoking fears of a global pandemic in early 2020.

"I wouldn't mind having a little bit of weed—keep it easy while we're at home for so long. It might be a long time in quarantine," she said.  

"I was literally just watching the press conference with my flatmate and then I just went downstairs and suddenly there's this queue of like 30 people, and all these cars arriving as well now."

Dutch Health Officials warned that the country's Coronavirus death toll will most likely continue to rise—having almost doubled in one day to 43—while 1,705 have been infected as of 18 March 2020.

The UK cannabis market could be on the verge of a multi-billion-pound boom

While the majority of cannabis sold in the UK still comes from the black market, things are rapidly beginning to change.

In fact, a 2016 UN report found that the UK accounted for approximately 45% of global cannabis production, while also being responsible for 70% of the worldwide export market.

However, the UK industry is still in its infancy, which has left investors starved for British pot stocks to add to their portfolio.

And with Prohibition Partners predicting the industry could reach $3 billion in size by 2024, this is one investment opportunity you don't want to miss.

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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