Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema will press ahead with plans to temporarily ban tourists from the city’s cannabis coffee shops. 

Last year, Halsema submitted a proposal to the city council limiting access to Dutch residents only in a bid to reduce demand and bring the city’s drug trade under control.

She has now doubled down on her assertion that proceeds from cannabis find their way into hard drugs.

“Many of the major problems in the city are fuelled by the cannabis market, from nuisance caused by drug tourism to serious crime and violence,” she said. 

“Banning sales to tourists is a necessary intervention and a first step towards regulation.”

The number of CCTV cameras has been increased across the city, along with signs warning tourists about the risks in the city centre, especially the red-light district. 

Two of the council’s largest opposition parties, D66 and GroenLinks, are opposed to the move, while the PvdA party said it was willing to support the residents-only rule if the mayor committed to stamping out street dealing. 

However, Halsema doesn’t need majority support if she declares the move a necessity.  

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

The city welcomes approximately 20 million tourists each year.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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