Press Release: First Wednesdays Comes To Amsterdam

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First Wednesdays Comes To Amsterdam

The Dutch will harness the power of networking and innovation to tackle industry problems

  • First Wednesdays partners with the innovative team behind the Amsterdam-based Cannabis Capital Convention

  • The event is sponsored by leading CBD company Cibdol

  • The European Cannabis Network now covers The United Kingdom, France and The Netherlands, with more than 500 attendees

  • The “backdoor paradox” and grey-market at the top of Dutch political agenda


The cannabis industry’s top professional network has expanded to the European cannabis industry’s heart, Amsterdam, thanks to a partnership with Cannabis Capital Convention.

Although the Netherlands is often lauded for its pragmatic and prescient approach to cannabis, their industry is not without problems. In an effort to create dialogue and tap into the wave of breakthroughs across the continent, Dutch industry leaders have turned to the First Wednesdays network as a catalyst, which has already proven popular in the UK and France.

At the top of the Dutch agenda will be the “backdoor paradox”, which is a result of the Netherlands’ unique approach to recreational cannabis, whereby the country’s coffeeshops can legally sell cannabis but the suppliers of the products still operate illegally, keeping a portion of the industry dependent on the black market. While cannabis enthusiasts and businesses in other countries have long looked up to the ‘gedoogbeleid’ drug tolerance policies in the Netherlands - which prioritises public health over criminal sanctions - it has created a grey-market system that is counterintuitive and clearly untenable.

When asked why First Wednesdays has come to Amsterdam, local host Michael Kraland of Cannabis Capital Convention said, “Because they should have launched it here first, but they’re Londoners! Amsterdam has historically been the leading cannabis city in Europe and perhaps the world, at its height there were 1500 coffeeshops in Holland. Today there are only about 530 coffeeshops left, thanks to the so-called “back door paradox”.

A wave of reform is currently sweeping Europe, with public opinion about cannabis rapidly shifting. This has created a new generation of cannabis entrepreneurs in countries like the UK and France who are now exporting their own approach to more established markets like the Netherlands.

Michael explained that Cannabis Capital Convention “hopes to use these events to lift our cannabis industry entirely out of the underground and into the mainstream”.

An experiment with the recreational sale of cannabis cultivated within the country is on the horizon but is not expected start until mid-2021 at the earliest.

First Wednesdays will begin on the 1st of May, with its inaugural event set to take place at a central Amsterdam location.

About First Wednesdays

First Wednesdays is a professional network for people working in European cannabis. The group hosts monthly meetups in London, Paris and Amsterdam and a series of public and private events aimed at investors, entrepreneurs and professional service providers.