Coffeeshops in Amsterdam

Frequently asked questions | Forum

User Johan
Saturday 12 May 2007

Below you will find an overview of frequently asked questions about coffeeshops in Amsterdam.

User Floris (Employee)
Wednesday 21 October 2015

1. What is a coffeeshop?
Coffeeshops are alcohol-free establishments where soft drugs (include hash and marihuana) are sold and consumed.

2. Are (international) tourists allowed to enter coffeeshops?
Yes, everyone aged 18 and above is currently allowed to enter coffeeshops and purchase cannabis in Amsterdam. Tourists can continue to visit coffeeshops in Amsterdam, also after 1 January 2013.

3. How much cannabis may be sold/purchased in a coffeeshop?
Selling large quantities of cannabis to coffeeshop customers is prohibited. Individuals are permitted to purchase a maximum of 5 grammes a day.

4. How old do you have to be to smoke cannabis in the Netherlands?
A minimum of 18 years old. ID is obligatory.

5. How old do you have to be to enter a coffeeshop?
18 years old. Selling cannabis to those under 18 years old is prohibited, as is allowing those under 18 years of age to enter the coffeeshop. Legitimize yourself is required.

6. Where is it permitted to buy cannabis?
The purchase of cannabis is only permitted at coffeeshops.

7. Is it illegal to purchase cannabis on the street?
Yes, it is only permitted to purchase cannabis in coffeeshops.

8. Is it permitted to smoke cannabis in locations other than coffeeshops?
In a coffeeshop is the most common and accepted place to smoke cannabis. Other restaurants, cafes and bars do not allow this and the smell of a joint is often not appreciated. Although it us uncommon, the owner of a pub, bar or café may permit the use of cannabis in their establishment.

9. Is it permitted to smoke cannabis outside (in public places)?
Yes. Although the smell of a joint is often not appreciated.

10. What percentage of tourists visit a coffeeshop during their stay in Amsterdam?
Research conducted by the City of Amsterdam indicates that ±23% of tourists who come to Amsterdam also visit a coffeeshop during their stay.

11. What are soft drugs?
The Netherlands Opium Act differentiates between hard drugs and soft drugs. Soft drugs are those which the Dutch government have designated as carrying an acceptable risk. Soft drugs include hash, marihuana, sleep-inducing drugs and sedatives.

12. Are coffeeshops also permitted to sell hard drugs?
No. Coffeeshops that become involved with hard drugs, allow activities involving hard drugs to take place or act negligently will irrevocably have their tolerance declaration withdrawn. Soft and hard drugs are hardly ever mixed in coffeeshops.

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