In a land-mark ruling High Court Appeal Judges from The Hague threw out a conviction against the owner of the Leiden coffeeshop owner for possessing 7.5Kg of cannabis which he was intending to sell in his coffeeshop. The owner had appealed against a community service order, explaining that he needed the cannabis to run his coffeeshop and that the authorities should have recognised that. Additionally, and in keeping with the law, there was never more than the legally permitted 0.5Kg of cannabis actually in the coffeeshop.
The Appeal Court judges said that the 7.5Kg ‘main stash’ was stored safely away from the coffeeshop in a nearby building. The Judges also confirmed that the cannabis was necessary for the coffeeshop to run its business, which has a turnover of €900,000 per year. The ruling is yet another blow to the authorities that have tried to clamp down on the coffeeshops. And its a further signal that the ‘illegal’ back door of the coffeeshop needs regulating as much as the front door. Many in Holland feel that the time has come for legalized commercial cannabis growing to remove black marketeers completely from the cannabis supply chain.
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