New proposed regulations for the Dutch government’s cannabis cultivation experiment stipulate that state marijuana should be packaged as unattractively as possible. According to the Volkskrant, committee leader André Knottnerus said the strict packaging regulations should avoid attracting nonsmokers to try cannabis, supporting the goal that only current cannabis users switch to legally produced weed.
The government’s website reports the closed coffee shop chain experiment (gesloten coffeeshopketen) seeks to determine whether and how cannabis can be legally supplied to coffee shops and the effects of this style of production including the impact “on crime, safety, public order and public health.” The experiment involves designated growers supplying regulated cannabis to all coffeeshops in ten participating municipalities including Tilburg, Almere and Breda.
Packaging regulation suggestions from Knottnerus’ committee include restrictions on packing texture – which should be smooth and free of decorative ridges; text – which must be black standard Helvetica font, non-bold, with capital letters “used exclusively for the first letter of each word”; and content, as each packaging unit must contain a white label covering at least 30% of the whole of the outside of the packaging. The label must contain the composition of the product with the ingredients listed in descending order, the quantity of the product, the health warning “keep out of reach of children” and coordinating symbols, a barcode, and the designated grower’s trade name and contact information. No other information is permitted on the label with the exception of the optional inclusion of the coffeeshop’s trade name and contact information.
In addition to these guidelines, each packaging unit should also include an information folder with health warnings, prevention messages, user advice, and storage suggestions.
Ministerial regulations of the experiment – which is scheduled to begin as soon as 2021- went into consultation on Tuesday and are available for public response until 12 November 2019.