The government won’t be able to draw conclusions from the regulated cannabis experiment in 2024. The experiment starts later than planned, also delaying the evaluation. The Cabinet does not want to draw any conclusions without the evaluation, Ministers Dilan Yeşilgöz (Justice and Security) and Ernst Kuipers (Public Health, Welfare, and Sports) said in a letter to parliament. The Rutte IV Cabinet agreed to publish the results in 2024 in the coalition agreement.
“Let me state first that we are all disappointed that it cannot be done at the pace we had envisioned in the coalition agreement,’ said Yeşilgöz. According to her, as things now stand, the researchers won’t be able to prepare their “comprehensive analysis” on the three most important points for the Cabinet: prevention, health, and safety. The experiment is only successful if “progress on all three elements” is visible, the Minister said.
The experiment aims to show whether legalized cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis is possible, and if so, how. However, the experiment’s launch has been repeatedly delayed, most recently in March this year when it was pushed forward by almost a year. The Ministers, therefore, believe that it is not realistic to expect conclusions based on the experiment in 2024. “It will probably have run far too short for that.”
Although the “completely conclusive statements” will take longer, the Ministers promised to send the available data to parliament as soon as possible. Yeşilgöz said she would soon discuss “with all parties involved,” from “healthcare to police,” how the first phase of the trial had turned out. “We hope to be able to present a balanced story in any case,” said the Minister. Growers, sellers, customers, and municipalities will also be involved in those discussions.
The Ministries could not say when the government expects to publish its conclusions on the experiment.