Marijuana is third popular Dutch export product
The soft drug comes in after cucumber and tomato on the list of best-selling Dutch export products, says police.6 May 2008
AMSTERDAM - Marijuana is one of the most popular Dutch export products, it was reported on Monday.
Speaking on the current affairs television programme Reporter, Dutch police commissioner Max Daniel said "Dutch marijuana ranks second or third after the cucumber and the tomato on the list of best-selling Dutch export products."
The sale of so-called soft drugs - marijuana - is legal in The Netherlands, but growing cannabis, which is used to make marijuana, is prohibited in The Netherlands.
In recent months, the Dutch government has been making an effort to close sites where cannabis is being grown. Last year alone, some 5,500 sites - 15 per day - were closed by the police.
Dutch-grown cannabis is much stronger than the traditional cannabis grown in Morocco, Lebanon and Pakistan. The present soft drugs market relies increasingly on Dutch-grown cannabis.
Last year, 730 Dutch coffeeshops sold some 265,000 kilograms of soft drugs, mostly grown in The Netherlands. Police estimate however that only 20 to 40 percent of the Dutch marijuana is sold locally; the majority is exported.
The Dutch tax authority receives some EUR 400 million on value added tax (VAT) originating from the sale of the soft drugs sold in local coffeeshops.
Total turnover in the soft drugs business is around EUR 2 billion, a figure comparable to the turnover of Dutch public transport.
Depending on the quality, coffee shop owners pay between EUR 3,500 and 5,500 per kilo to cannabis growers.
[dpa / Expatica]
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