Amsterdam’s COVID-impacted tourism industry faces another challenge after the city’s mayor Femke Halsema called for foreign visitors to be banned from its cannabis shops (also known as coffee shops).

Halsema has submitted a proposal to Amsterdam City Council limiting access to Dutch residents only in a bid to reduce the demand for cannabis and bring the city’s soft drug trade under control.

Other measures could see limits to the number of coffee shops owned by the same chain and stricter rules around cannabis transport and storage.

If successful, the policy is likely to come into force from 2021.

Amsterdam currently has 166 coffee shops, with recent research indicating 72% of visitors surveyed had either been to one, or planned to do so, during their stay.

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