|Photo: Marcel van den Bergh/de Volkskrant|
|Customers queue up to place their cannabis orders at Coffeeshop Checkpoint|
A Dutch court fined the owner of the Netherlands’ largest marijuana-dispensing “coffee shop” 10 million euros Thursday, after police seized more than 200 kilograms of cannabis on the premises.
According to the court, the owner of Coffeeshop Checkpoint would have had to pay a larger penalty if it had not been for the role of the local government.
“Checkpoint could not have expanded as much as it did without collaboration from the municipality of Terneuzen,” near the Belgian border, the court said.
“Also, the police never warned that the coffee shop had to scale down,” the court pointed out.
Owner Meddy Willemson was tried in Middelburg district court with 15 others involved in the cannabis trade, including former employees and local suppliers, for drug trafficking and involvement in a criminal organization.
Police confiscated more than 440 pounds of marijuana on Checkpoint’s premises in 2007 and 2008.
Cannabis-vending “coffee shops” in the Netherlands aren’t allowed to have more than 500 grams of marijuana at any given time.