Today, through agreement with the coffeeshop union Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten (BCD), Amsterdam City Council allows coffee shops to operate with the provision of set, non-transferable licences shown by the display of an official, green and white sticker in the window.
Amsterdam counts about 250 coffeeshops and most of them are located in the Red Light District. From psychedelic to hipster-ish but also from very local ones to more touristic places, each of Amsterdam coffeeshops has its own atmosphere. You will surely find one that suits you perfectly. They are not only to smoke weed. They are real social places where you can easily meet people and spend some good times with friends. Watching TV, playing chess or card games and much more can be done here. And always in a very relaxing way.
Due to the allowance of cannabis consumption, the Netherlands are very well reputed to be a very liberal country. This is true but you should be aware of the Dutch law and the rules inside a coffee shop.
How to order weed in an Amsterdam coffeeshop
When you would like to try growing your own Amsterdam quality buds at home, check out the seed shop of Royal Queen Seeds. They have been developing high quality cannabis seeds for over 20 years and guarantee shipping to the whole european union.
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.
Amsterdam coffee shops, not to be confused with cafés, have been a part of the city since the 1970s, when the Dutch government made a clear distinction in the law between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs. Unlike Amsterdam’s fully legal smart shops, Amsterdam coffeeshops have always existed in a legal grey area.
When you enter a coffee shop there are few rules you should be aware of:
The shops have been allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but customers have to take their purchases outside.
Smoke While You Can: Amsterdam will be ending cannabis tourism.
“Cannabis tourism” may be coming to an end in Amsterdam if the environmentalist mayor Femke Halsema gets her wish to ban foreign tourists from the city’s coffee shops by the time coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted.
Enough is enough
The demand for cannabis has kept growing year after year, despite official efforts to promote other tourist activities and to control the numbers of hotels and Airbnb rentals, with “cannabis tourists” being a nuisance particularly around the city center.
Since the 1970s, the Dutch government has tolerated these establishments and Amsterdam in particular has promoted cannabis culture with other activities such as hosting the Cannabis Cup festival for decades.
There’s a drive in the city, known for its liberal attitude regarding drugs and its red-light district, to control the flow of young tourists who arrive with the single intention to smoke marijuana — and to undermine the criminal organizations behind the drug trade.
A total of 46 million people visited the Netherlands in 2019, with most coming to Amsterdam and many buying and smoking cannabis at the marijuana shops.
The city has taken several steps to reduce overcrowding and nuisance caused by over-tourism in the city centre, curbing the number of shops targeting visitors, clamping down on Airbnb, halting new hotel developments and increasing taxes.
Fearing an out-of-control street market, Amsterdam did not impose the so-called “residence criterion” on its hash cafes, which account for about a third of the Dutch total, instead banning smoking in parts of the city and closing individual shops.
Halsema said the measure would take some months to become effective because there would need to be a period of consultation and transition for coffee shop owners, and the city wanted to introduce a hallmark scheme for approved vendors.
“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.
“Cannabis is a popular product that people enjoy worldwide,” he told the Dutch ANP news agency. “People want to smoke their joint. If that can’t happen in a coffee shop, then they will buy it on the street.”
Government research showed 58% of foreign tourists who visit Amsterdam come mainly to consume the drug, Halsema said, while another study showed the city would support fewer than 70 coffee shops if only locals were served.
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.