A new report by Intraval, a research bureau, counts 805 licensed coffee shops in Holland in 2001. This is a reduction of 1% from 813 in 2000. At least one hundred coffeeshops were closed in the past few years as the government sought to reduce the number, and remove the criminal elements from the business.
The new government while not keen on the coffeeshop business isn't about to close down the remaining very profitable businesses that employ thousands and generate a lot of tax revenue. In addition, cannabis tourism generates a steady income stream for all the other Horeca businesses like hotels and restaurants.
Few if any new coffeeshop licenses are being granted anymore. When tenants leave, existing licenses stay with the building, making it likely they will continue in business as a coffeeshop, unless the government finds a good reason to revoke the license.
No figure was given for unlicensed coffeeshops, of which there are many. Unlicensed coffeeshops are usually in squats or private homes. These are at constant risk of closure should they be discovered.
So enjoy the freedom to skin-up/light-up in public coffeeshops while you still can.
Meanwhile the Dutch really need to address the issue of the backdoor supply of cannabis, because too many growers are still being busted for providing this most important product to the Horeca trade. This is a completely unfair system and leads to corruption of public officials, some of whom can easily profit from a bust.
I believe the best system is to let people grow their own (as many plants as they like!). A plant is not a crime!
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