Everything started in the 70’s with the growing hippy community. Weed and hashish were illegal at that time, but places like the Paradiso or the Melkweg were famous to have great artists playing and people would enjoy some good music there while sharing a joint. That’s how in those music places we could find some house dealers. The dealers were though tolerated to do their business inside the houses.
Special décor, a different feel, a pool table. These locations offer much more than just weed and will transport you to far far away.
History of coffeeshops in Amsterdam
Most of the coffeeshops are in the touristic part of Amsterdam old town. And so are most of the attractions. Here is a list of some recommended Amsterdam attractions to explore when enjoying marijuana consumption.
These places can get crowded, with a mix of locals, expats and tourists looking for a good time. Located close or in the center of the city these three coffeeshops have a good weed selection and a nice atmosphere.
Some tips: Tips and hints for buying marijuana and cannabis from Amsterdam coffee shops.
Cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands but possession of fewer than five grams (0.18 ounces) of the drug was decriminalised in 1976 under a “tolerance policy”. Production remains illegal but the coffee shops are allowed to sell it.
The city “doesn’t necessarily just want people with a lot of money”, he told DutchNews. “We say come to Amsterdam for the museums, the food, for love or for friends – but not to skulk around, smoke dope and do drugs.”
“Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists – but for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institutions,” the mayor said, adding that the cannabis market was too big and had too many links to organised crime.
But Joachim Helms of the coffee shop owners’ association BCD said the plans risked driving the soft drugs trade on to the street.
Fuelled by cheap flights and online booking, however, tourist numbers in Amsterdam – a city of 850,000 residents – have surged to nearly 20 million visitors a year, many of them young and on tight budgets. More than 29 million are forecast by 2025.
Dutch laws are far less relaxed than many realize. While it is legal for Helms to sell cannabis, he can only have 500 grams in stock at any one time and must sell no more than 5 grams to each customer per day. It is illegal for Helms to produce the drug, and Dutch police make regular visits to the coffee shops to ensure laws are being upheld.
Mayor Halsema hopes that barring foreign customers from the coffee shops will cut tourist numbers and attract a different type of visitor — the kind who comes for the museums and the culture and may have more spending power than the binge-smoking tourists staying in cheap apartments.
Bernadette de Wit lives on the edge of De Wallen, Amsterdam’s red-light district.
Over the last few years, Amsterdam’s City Council has adopted increasingly aggressive measures to combat the overwhelming number of visitors. An advertising campaign by the Dutch tourist board in 2019 actively encouraged visitors to go elsewhere in the Netherlands. Airbnb has restricted rentals and the Council is in the process of attempting to move the famous red-light district and its sex workers to a purpose-built center elsewhere in Amsterdam.
For now, the Council’s priority is moving ahead with plans to relocate the red-light district.
Joachim Helms co-owns the Green House coffee shop in central Amsterdam, a popular café for tourists and locals looking to buy weed, hash and space cakes.
“Things were getting out of hand before the corona[virus] crisis broke out and myself and others have been pushing for measures to interfere for a very long time. We want to get tourists back, but we want to get a different kind of tourist.“