State Must Pay Damages to Cannabis Cafes
THE HAGUE, 06/06/13 - The State must pay damages to cannabis cafes ('coffee shops') in the south of the country. They have suffered unnecessary damages due to the ‘weed pass card’, a district court in The Hague ruled Wednesday.
Coffee-shops in Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Zeeland had to exclude foreign clients last year. Only clients registered as members of the coffee shop as closed club were allowed to be served.
The registration requirement was disproportional, says the court. The desired effect, the exclusion of foreign drugs tourists, could also have been achieved if clients of coffee-shops could show that they were Dutch residents. The damages compensation must therefore be paid. The size of the compensation is not known, as this must be set in separate proceedings.
The registration requirement was in force between 1 May and 19 November 2012. According to the coffee-shop operators, they lost 90 percent of their clients at that time.
The coffee-shop policy has meanwhile been relaxed. Throughout the Netherlands, municipalities can decide whether coffee shops are allowed to admit foreigners. The registration requirement has also been withdrawn.