Concern is growing about the ability of Dutch coffeeshops to cope with the increasing demand of tourists wanting to buy and use cannabis. Many coffeeshops are becoming so busy that smokers often spill outside to smoke on the streets and outdoor terrace areas. Many coffeeshops reports several thousand visitors per day, with cannabis tourism growing at a faster rate than the tourism industry in general. The situation is being made worse by the ongoing closures of coffeeshops and difficulties in obtaining a license to open a new coffeeshop.
In the year 2000 there were 283 Amsterdam coffeeshops. By the end of 2015 there were just 175 Amsterdam coffeeshops left to cater for an ever-increasing number of tourists. Many coffeeshops were closed down to ‘clean up’ some districts, or were shut down for being ‘too close’ to schools. The result has been increasing pressure on existing coffeeshops, who are unable to offer their customers the time, advice and service which they would like.
The situation remains under review from the Amsterdam authorities and many people hope that coffeeshops restrictions can be loosened and quality standards improved. Cannabis tourism remains a major source of tourist revenue in, and around, Amsterdam. The full news story is here