On March 8, outgoing Dutch minister De Jonge announced that, if it is possible to keep the contamination number (R value) below 1, he will reopen catering terraces on March 31. Since mid-October, coffeeshops have remained open for take-away only options. Coffeeshops and their patrons now hope that they are aloud to reopen outdoor terraces on March 31. De Jonge has verified the catering industry may open terraces at the end of March.
COFFEESHOPS & THE EVER CHANGING COVID-19 MEASURES
We are now over a year into COVID-19 infections in the Netherlands. Let’s recap the past 12 months, in the eyes of a Dutch marijuana retailer outlet, a coffeeshop. We’ve seen coffeeshops forced to completely shut doors, just to reopen soon after for take-away only options. On June 1st, coffeeshops were then aloud to reopen for on-site consumption, which allowed for coffeeshop outdoor terraces to reopen. In order to sit at the coffeeshop, you were required to leave your contact details. However, this process was not sufficiently implemented by the health commission, as it was never officially made mandatory. It was merely suggestion, and businesses simply didn’t have to follow the measures. Very confusing, I know.
During this period, hours frequently changed, to where we see them now; every coffeeshop in the Netherlands must close by 8pm. In mid-October, when infections began to rise again, the catering industry had to cease on-site consumption operations. Now, take-away only signs are the norm in catering establishment windows.
“Coffeeshops have to close operations at 8pm, forfeiting several hours of potential sales.”
Several months of inconsistent measures and little government support, created chaos for catering industry management, coffeeshops included. While, coffeeshops are aloud to offer to-go sales, it is not legal to deliver cannabis products in Holland, as it is for the rest of the catering industry. Restaurants are allowed to deliver food and beverages throughout the evening, however coffeeshops have to close operations for the day at 8pm, forfeiting several hours of potential sales. It is known that many Dutch cannabis coffeeshops are typically open late-night hours in, closing at 1am, compared to marijuana dispensaries in North America, which typically aren’t open past 10pm. People need their cannabis, for a variety of reasons, both medically and recreationally.
So, where are you supposed to source your marijuana flowers or hash after 8pm in the Netherlands? Unfortunately, the inconsistency of Coronavirus precautionary measures has only increased a demand for an unregulated blackmarket. This blackmarket allows for an influx of synthetically sprayed cannabis products. Though, that’s a story for another day!
COFFEESHOPS LOOK TO REOPEN TERRACES ON MARCH 31
Now, Coronavirus measures are starting to loosen up. It is beginning to look a bit optimistic for coffeeshops in Amsterdam, as well as other parts of the Netherlands. The potential of coffeeshop terraces may become a reality on 31 March 2021, as coffeeshops look to open outside smoking lounges. If the catering industry is aloud to reopen their outdoor terraces, as per plans, then coffeeshops should also be included.
AMSTERDAM COFFEESHOP TERRACES
One of the most spectacular outdoor coffeeshop terraces is most certainly found on Thorbeckeplein, right in the middle of Amsterdam’s historic canal belt. Coffeeshop The Bushdocter, located at Thorbeckeplein 28, offers its guests with 3-levels of smoking inside their building, but also a large outdoor terrace, just off Rembrandt Square. Antonello, manager of The Bushdocter, tells us, “We have our fingers crossed. They (catering industry) are probably going to open the outdoor areas around 31 March”. My fingers are crossed too! Just last week, outgoing Dutch minister De Jonge stated that he may allow catering establishments to reopen terraces on March 31.
Amsterdam has a number of coffeeshops with outdoor smoking areas, located in some breathtaking and picturesque spots in the city center! If you are in Amsterdam, you likely want to smoke along a historic Dutch canal. Why not cross two off your bucket-list, when you can puff your joint canal-side? Grab your coffeeshop purchase and head to the outdoor patio at Coffeeshop Bas Joe, Easy Times, Strain Hunters, 137, or Amnesia and watch the boats go down Amsterdam’s historic canals. You can also enjoy a more urban outdoor setting for your bong tokes, like Coffeeshop Abraxas‘ alleyway seating.
Just south of Amsterdam’s centrum is the De Pijp district, a popular, residential and student neighborhood, offering an amazing vibe. This region of the city is full of amazing munchie spots, the outdoor market, Albert Cuypmarkt, and the Heinekein Experience. Of course, I wouldn’t mention it here if De Pijp’s businesses didn’t have some brilliant outdoor patios! One of these amazing outside terraces, is featured at Coffeeshop Katsu, located at Eerste van der Helststraat 70. If you are looking for a dope patio outside the bustling city center to session on with your friends, you should check out Katsu.
What about coffeeshops with no outdoor terrace?
Unfortunately for coffeeshops, like Boerejongens Centrum, there is no known timeframe of when they can reopen for on-site consumption. While many coffeeshops in Amsterdam do have seating out front, the majority of them do not. These coffeeshops will simply just have to wait for the next set of measures to be announced. And, who knows when that will be.
With the potential of coffeeshops to reopen outdoor terraces, the recent flight-ban from UK being lifted, and other measures loosening up, Amsterdam may be home to epic smoke sessions again! Of course, only with proper precautionary measures in place.
WIN A ROOR BONG & MERCH FROM COFFEESHOP THE BUSHDOCTER
Miss the coffeeshops? Well, we’ve teamed up with Coffeeshop The Bushdocter to offer you the chance to win an awesome gift-box! The prize features an official Roor straight-tube bong and coffeshop merch. You can learn all about the giveaway on our Instagram.