Legal Weed: Canada Vs The Netherlands

Legal Weed: Canada Vs The Netherlands

Canada recently became the second country on Earth to officially legalise cannabis. This new law allows users to carry cannabis in public, grow several plants, and purchase cannabis both online and in brick and mortar stores. For the last few decades, the Netherlands was the country that came to mind when thinking about tolerated cannabis use. However, Canada may be about to meet or surpass this reputation due to relaxed laws, a move that will surely result in a surge in cannabis tourism.


The Netherlands is famous for its coffeeshops situated in the capital city of Amsterdam. The legal status within the country is quite blurry and confusing. The herb is actually illegal within the region, yet authorities turn a blind eye to businesses selling it as long as they store a maximum of 500g of cannabis on the premises at one time.

The coffeeshops themselves are actually prohibited from purchasing cannabis, so many rely on third party buyers to secure stock. However, once the produce is on the premises, it’s deemed acceptable to sell. Growers in the country are also subject to relaxed laws and are rarely prosecuted for the cultivation of under 5 plants.


Canada’s new laws are going to enable businesses to profit heavily off of cannabis tourism. Dispensaries, liquor stores, and coffeeshops are set to see swaths of customers looking for their strains of choice. Coffeeshops, such as HotBlack Coffee in downtown Toronto, are already operating and feature chillout lounges, music, fresh coffee, and lots of cannabis.

The rise of legal coffeeshops forces a comparison of Canada’s new legal scene to the older scene of Amsterdam. The Dutch capital has served as a European weed mecca for millions of smokers over the last few decades and is seen as a haven of relative freedom by many. However, the odd and outdated laws may move the location down the rankings now, at least when compared to the relaxed and full-scale legalisation in Canada.


Legalisation day in Canada was long-awaited by many, yet it appears several businesses just weren’t braced for such high levels of herbal demand. 111 stores opened across the country on the day, with many more setting up shop in the near future. Scores of customers queued up outside of these shops looking to make their first legal purchases. The strain put on these businesses seemed to be too much, with numerous establishments reporting cannabis shortages in several Canadian provinces.

Members of the Canadian Government stated that certain strains might run out, but the infrastructure should remedy the problem in time.

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