Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan shutdown the the Cannabis Cup expo on Sunday, stating the event was not in compliance with local regulations. The cup, which posted an announcement for its location just days before its anticipated start, had allegedly filed their application too late to check the venue for public order and safety.
“From the onset, we were informed by our lawyers, who were working with the Mayor’s office, that as long as we remained compliant with local regulations, we would be allowed to proceed,” High Times stated on it’s website Sunday. “We have strenuously tried to meet those standards and go beyond them. This morning we were informed that if were to proceed with the Cannabis Cup Expo the event would be shut down and all participants would be arrested.”
The 27th annual event, which lived on in its first day throughout the city’s coffee shops, was allowed to continue its seminar portion in the Melkweg this week with posted signs limiting all in attendance to 5 grams of personal cannabis or hash. High Times also informed attendees that the Mayor’s office planned to strictly enforce a ban on all cannabis extracts and the free distribution of cannabis to attendees by any of the event’s vendors.
The Netherlands decriminalized possession of less than 5 grams of cannabis for personal use in 1976 and allows residents to grow up to five plants, but a gray area exists in that selling anything over 5 grams remains a crime. The Amsterdam City Council took action earlier this month in attempt to clarify the relationships between coffee shops and their suppliers calling for city-sanctioned licensed marijuana grows.
While other cities throughout the Netherlands adopted rules in 2013 that allow only Dutch citizens into coffee shops, the decision to enforce the rules remains up to local municipalities. Forbes reported that last year Mayor van der Laan ruled that coffee shops within 250 meters of schools must close during school hours and was cleared to ban coffee shops in the Redlight District this April.
This move to shut down a long-standing, annual event like the Cannabis Cup sheds some light on the specificity of legislation from region to region and how regulations must be followed closely — or else.
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