Is Cannabis legal in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, medical marijuana is legal and recreational marijuana is decriminalized.

Although the Netherlands has the image of recreational marijuana being fully legalized, strictly speaking, recreational marijuana is illegal in the Netherlands by law.

However, recreational marijuana has been sold since 1979, and cannabis is commonly sold in coffee shops.

In 1972, the Dutch government classified cannabis as a less dangerous drug and made possession of more than 30 grams of usable cannabis a criminal offense.

Currently in the Netherlands, adults over the age of 18 can purchase and use up to 5 grams of marijuana in stores that sell marijuana.

Possession of more than 5 grams is subject to fines and other penalties, and in the case of possession of large amounts may result in jail time.

Medical cannabis in the Netherlands

Medical cannabis is legal in the Netherlands.

In 1993, the Netherlands became the first EU country to introduce a program, the predecessor to the current medical cannabis program.

In 1999, the then Minister of Health proposed that cannabis has medical value.

Since 2003, prescriptions for patients have been available and a Medicinal Cannabis Authority has been established.

Currently, the Netherlands has five different types of medical marijuana.

The Netherlands, which was one of the first countries in the world to legalize medical marijuana, has strict regulations regarding marijuana, and not many companies have been granted licenses to manufacture medical marijuana.

Bedrocan is the world’s most widely used cannabis company.

CBD is legal

CBD is legal in the Netherlands.

However, the THC content must be less than 0.2%.

In 1999, the law was amended and CBD with less than 0.2% THC was legalized and can be grown and processed in the Netherlands.

CBD is classified as a soft drug under the Opium Act.

Currently, CBD with less than 0.05% THC is permitted by the government and sold throughout the Netherlands, while CBD with less than 0.2% THC can be purchased online, manufactured outside the Netherlands.

Cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands

Cannabis cultivation is decriminalized in the Netherlands.

Cultivation of marijuana is limited to five plants per household, and cultivation of large quantities of marijuana or cultivation for the purpose of selling marijuana may result in prosecution.

Cultivation is for personal use only, and cultivation for any other purpose is prohibited.

Will the Netherlands legalize recreational cannabis?

In the Netherlands, the Senate has approved a demonstration experiment to legalize cannabis sales in 2019.

The experiment is scheduled to begin in December 2023.

In the experiment, coffee shops in the cities of Breda and Tilburg will be supplied with cannabis from two authorized cannabis growers.

The Netherlands is the second country in Europe, after Switzerland, to experiment with the legalization of cannabis, and the first EU member state to do so.

Depending on the results of the experiment, recreational marijuana may be legalized.


We have introduced the situation of cannabis in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has an image that marijuana is fully legalized, but in reality, medical marijuana is legalized and recreational marijuana is decriminalized, although strictly speaking, it is illegal under the law.

In the Netherlands, marijuana can be purchased at coffee shops, and adults over the age of 18 can possess up to 5 grams.

An experiment to legalize marijuana sales is scheduled to begin in December 2023, and depending on the results of the experiment, marijuana may be fully legalized.

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