SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam is to crack down on the sale of cannabis and magic mushroom-related souvenirs in an effort to ditch the city centre’s druggy image.
The sale of weed biscuits, cannabis lollypops and the like in city centre shops both conflicts with local zoning laws which restrict the sale of souvenirs, and promotes drugs use, city officials say.
In addition, Ilse Griek, a member of the city centre borough council told the Parool, the products are misleading because they don’t contain any illegal drugs. Drug souvenirs used to be sold in tourist shops only but are now appearing in the windows of mini supermarkets and wafel shops, Griek told the paper.
This week, six shops close to Dam square and Rembrandtplein were warned about their window displays, the paper said. Shopkeepers who refuse to remove the banned produces face fines running into thousands of euros and having the goods confiscated.
City councils voted in favour of a motion to halt the sale of cannabis-related tourist products at the end of last year. The checks are part of efforts to make the city centre more attractive to locals, shoppers and companies.
Since 2017 there has been a ban on new shops in the city centre which focus on tourists or sell fast food.