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The Dutch Cannabis Tender Hits The Skids

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Like the German medical cannabis tender bid before it, the Dutch government has run into a few problems rolling out a regulated industry across the country – and the first tender for cultivation has imploded

One thing is for sure. Governments find it very hard to roll out a federally controlled tender bid for the cultivation of cannabis. Everywhere.

Here is the thing the U.S., however, can take away from the following story. Don’t smirk – there is nothing about a state-driven licensed process on that side of the pond that is anywhere as complex if not complicated as doing it on this side of the Atlantic. And that is before the inevitable flubs and stupid politics get mixed in.

Here is the quick update. The first federally overseen Dutch attempt to finally regulate the cultivation of cannabis bound for domestic coffee shops (outside of major cities, which already decided to sit this out in favour of their own systems), has just hit formal skids.

Here is the upshot. The Dutch bid selections (9 rather than the initial expected 10 after one of these got disqualified) will all have to be reconsidered. Multiple errors in selecting winners, including leaving out the wishes of local councils, multiple entries by the same firm (this was a “lottery” after all) and other very unprofessional issues have all arisen in the last week as the bid was supposed to be decided. 

Even Dutch growers, and those who back them will concur that this was not only a highly foreseeable if not preventable situation. Not to mention the logic at work in reconfiguring the process is absolutely inescapable. Business plans as well as the disclosure of investor names are mandatory (for starters).

Unsurprisingly, the referees to all of this are circling wagons – but there is going to clearly be another bid redo in an environment where free wheeling cannapreneurial efforts are hitting the skids after being exposed to even the most minimal and logical regulatory muster.

In the meantime, enterprising firms interested in having their shot at a “little cannabis farm” in Holland should be aware that the decision process is far from over.

For an inside look at some of the most pressing regulatory, cultivation and tender bid issues in Europe, be sure to book your tickets to the International Cannabis Business Conference when it returns to Europe.