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Note: This is an interview/story from 05-06-2008 by P.T. Dante.


Home Grown FantasyHome Grown Fantasy is a Coffeeshop with a good reputation and history of 20 years in Amsterdam. Friendly, relaxed, a nicely decorated inside, and the fact that it’s only a few minutes from Central Station makes it a social meeting point for locals and many tourists. With the various exhibitions of art or photography on the wall, various games a large tea collection, great staff.

Next year the rent contract of Home Grown Fantasy Coffeeshop is ending. The owner of the actual building ‘Stads Herstel’, which literally means City Renovation has decided that they do not want a Coffeeshop there anymore. The owners were even told they could stay, if they would continue with a different type of business.

Jaap is a bit melancholic about the whole situation. After so many years of struggling and trying to communicate with the local authorities, he’s tired of it all. “Everything you try to accomplish has to go through a web of bureaucracy, some commission, or you need some special license (which they don’t give out anymore). Even something simple as changing the sign of our establishment was quite the task. We had in nice ‘back lighted’ letters the name of our shop on the front of our building. Nothing out of the ordinary, but according to the inner city’s ‘beauty commission’ it was placed wrong and if we would not make the adjustments a.s.a.p. they would fine us 10.000 Euros… Ten Thousand Euros? For having the letters spaced out to far? Sounds like a lot of money!

We do everything according to the set rules and are a young and energetic company. Yet in 2007 the Coffeeshop was raided no less then seven times. This is not regular practice, and definitely not normal for shop which has build up a good reputation over the years.

Coffeeshop owners know they can expect 2 visits from the local police station to check on identification and legality of employees, OR for the ‘stock limit’ check. It is without special permission or warrants not possible for the local police to check on both issues.
Further more there is a Coffeeshop ‘Hit Team’. (Yes.. with guns and all. Imagine how that scares the crap out of your customers drinking their tea and enjoying their smoke.) They have a minimum set frequency of once per year.

Even the Hit Team, when they leave comments,

Well everything is spotless. We wished every Coffeeshop had their business this well taken care of..

owner Jaap says.

In 2008 the shop has been targeted 4 times already…

Randomness is a lack of order, purpose, cause, or predictability in non-scientific parlance. It’s all part of the ‘backdoor’ problem, the suppliers and distributors.

What would you say is the solution for the so called ‘backdoor’ problems the Coffeeshops have?

“I think there might be more then one” Jaap says. “But you are allowed to have a certain supply in you Coffeeshop at all times (500 grams/ 0.5 kilos). This is one of the main things the Raid Teams/ local police check for.”

Let’s say you sell 500 grams per day. You are averaging 3.5 to 4 kilos per week. If this is a regulated drug policy we have, then I should be able to grow, or acquire this for my business. This is the demand, I have to be able to supply.

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