“I am ready for the future” states Caroline, manager of coffee-shop PasOp! in Schiedam. She explains how she transformed her coffee-shop to a modern business. “I don’t like marginal tinkering. If you do something, you have to do it right”. PasOp! is a coffee-shop where everything has been carefully thought about. From the special hand dryer in the restrooms to the entrance system. Caroline explains proudly: a camera at the door snaps a picture of the client. The picture is linked to ID data, after the client has presented their passport. “Perfect system. This way I only have to ask somebody for their passport once, cause the scanner recognizes who comes in immediately”.
The first impression is strange, a coffee-shop where it’s clients are more closely monitored than at the international airport. But Caroline assures us, her clients are absolutely fine with it. “For me it’s important that I can guarantee no minors enter this place. I can also see if somebody buys more that the allowed 5 grams”.
A diversified crowd visits the shop. Men, women, locals, immigrants, the lawyer from down the street, someone in an overall with paint stains. A middle aged man enters, passes the scanner, buys a 5 gram bag and continues to the bar for coffee. He rolls a joint and smokes, chatting with an acquaintance. Behind them two people play pool.
Many coffee-shops have transformed in a well organized business. They pay their taxes and they keep underaged out. “Nobody wants trouble, because if the police finds a minor in your shop, it’s closed immediately”. Legislation is strange though. A coffee-shop can sell cannabis, but officially cannot purchase it. Coffee-shops operate under what is called a “tolerate-license”, but importing cannabis from abroad is forbidden, as is growing domestic crop.
Disclaimer: my translation and mild editing.