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Long Lines Erupt at Amsterdam’s Coffee Shops

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On March 15, leaders in The Netherlands ordered the closure of schools, restaurants and other types of businesses. Amid the looming shutdown of businesses, cannabis consumers lined up en masse to stock up on cannabis before the quarantine period begins. The closure of various types of businesses was put into effect at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. PST) and the restrictions included coffee shops that sell cannabis.

Newsweek reports that tweets with photos of long lines dominated Twitter before the shutdown took effect, as local residents stockpiled on supplies to get them through the shutdown period. Like many other types of products, the demand for cannabis also reached a peak high.

Many cannabis consumers had the opportunity to stock up, just in the nick of time. Resident Christiaan Triebert tweeted, “Toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks? These people stand in line to buy weed ahead of the Netherlands #COVID19 lockdown.” 

Other locals also posted photos of the rush to purchase cannabis at coffee shops. And the rush to purchase cannabis was felt way beyond Amsterdam, as customers lined up in cities across the country.

“Wow, everywhere in The Netherlands are big lines at the coffee shop to get the latest marijuana. Due to the lockdown, all coffeeshops need to close in a few minutes,” tweeted Jaap Visser. Visser posted photos of coffee shops in Utrecht, Groningen and Eindhoven—and  all had long lines of customers waiting to stock up on cannabis.

Many other local residents posted photos of lines in front of coffee shops. The same trend is happening across the U.S. in states with medical or recreational cannabis. In Los Angeles, California, for instance, the threat of coronavirus prompted a rush to stock up on cannabis from local dispensaries.

The lockdowns Americans see in Italy, Spain and other areas of Europe may offer a glimpse of what to expect in the U.S. over the next four to eight weeks until the spread of COVID-19 eventually dies down.