The normalization of cannabis and its legalization in an interview with Simone Van Breda


Simone Van Breda is a leading figure in the field of cannabis advocacy and promoting more favorable policies in Europe. As President of the Cannabis Retailers Association, her work has been instrumental in addressing challenges and promoting a more informed and progressive view on this industry that is constantly evolving towards cannabis legalization.

The challenges of cannabis legalization in Europe

One of the main challenges facing the cannabis industry in Europe is the diversity of national regulations and the lack of harmonization at the continental level. Simone highlights the importance of overcoming these barriers to achieve broader and more effective legalization.

Her experience as President of the Cannabis Retailers Association has led her to advocate for greater cohesion in cannabis policies across Europe, recognizing Germany’s recent step towards legalization as a positive indicator for the continent. Add a curious fact about this “legalization”.


In the complex scenario of cannabis legalization at the European level, a fundamental challenge arises: the “right to exchange and products, export and import.” It is crucial to understand that the term “legalization” can be misleading in this context, since in Europe nothing that is not considered legal can be legalized. Rather, it is about regulation.

Since 1960, cannabis has faced legal restrictions in Europe, creating significant regulatory challenges for its eventual regulation. Germany, for example, has chosen to regulate cannabis rather than legalize it, marking an important distinction given the nature of agreements between countries in the European Union.

The Dutch experiment provides valuable insight into this dynamic as it focuses on research rather than driving legalization. It is essential to understand that justice allows (Schengen agreement) the cultivation of cannabis only for medical or research purposes, as demonstrated by Holigram’s participation in the Dutch experiment as a producer.

Impact of cannabis legalization in Germany

The recent legalization of cannabis in Germany represents a significant milestone for the European industry. Simone considers this step not only a step forward in terms of normalization, but also a positive boost for legalization throughout the European Union. This move could pave the way for broader regulation and open up new opportunities for cannabis retailers across Europe.

As for the future of cannabis legalization in the Netherlands, Simone acknowledges that there is still a way to go. However, she points out that the current model of separation between the sale and production of cannabis in Dutch coffee shops could change in the future. Her analysis reflects a pragmatic and thoughtful approach to the complexities of cannabis legalization in a European context.

Political influence in promoting cannabis-friendly policies

As a political advisor at The Bulldog, Simone has played a crucial role in promoting more cannabis-friendly policies. Its focus is on effectively communicating the benefits of a regulated and transparent cannabis industry, as well as advocating for constructive dialogue between political actors and the industry. Her work has helped demystify misconceptions about cannabis and highlight its potential as a legitimate and responsible sector.


The Cannabis Retailers Association, under Simone’s leadership, has prioritized effective communication with local and national authorities. Through a variety of channels, from conventions to social media, they have sought to influence policy and promote greater understanding of cannabis and its regulation. This strategy has been fundamental to build bridges between the industry and government institutions.

Outstanding experiences in cannabis cultivation projects

As a project leader at the Corporation, Simone has faced challenges and successes in seeking cultivation permits within the European Experiment. Its focus on promoting the participation of small producers and ensuring quality and transparency in the cannabis supply chain reflects its commitment to a sustainable and ethical industry.

On a personal level, Simone recognizes the obstacles she has faced in her journey in the cannabis industry. However, her determination and passion for the cause have led her to pursue her goals with courage and perseverance. Her future goals include continuing to advocate for the legalization of cannabis at the European level and contributing to the advancement of more inclusive and progressive policies.

Obstacles in the cannabis industry

One of the main obstacles I have faced in this industry lies in the persistent misconceptions that some people have about cannabis, coffee shops or social clubs.

Simone highlights the obvious unfinished mission of educating and conveying the right message to those who oppose cannabis. “It is important to understand that we cannot change people’s need or desire to consume cannabis, but we can regulate the way they acquire it. Everyone deserves to know what they are buying and the safety conditions of the product. Controlling and regulating cannabis in a safe environment is essential to protect consumers,” she explains.

Simone Van Breda highlights that one of the main challenges she faces on a personal level is the need to gain the trust of everyone involved in the cannabis industry and achieve benefits for everyone.


For her, adequately representing people and understanding their needs and concerns is essential. She acknowledges that she sometimes tells herself the importance of understanding the needs of others to be an effective representative. Therefore, she invites people to contact her and provide feedback on how she can improve to meet their needs.

The impact of cannabis on quality of life

Simone Van Breda recounts a personal case that marked her career: four years ago, her mother died from a brain tumor. Simone tells us, my mother had never been in a coffee shop before or had any contact with cannabis. Despite this, she always respected my work in this field.

When I learned of her diagnosis, I arranged the use of cannabis oil as part of her therapy, convinced of its potential benefits. However, she rejected the idea due to the stigma associated with cannabis. Unfortunately, none of the traditional medical treatments worked and, after six months, the tumors returned.


It was then that my mother decided to try cannabis, and I was able to witness a notable improvement in her quality of life. She began eating better, sleeping properly, and experienced less pain. This personal case illustrates the benefits of medicinal cannabis and reinforces my commitment to its normalization and access for those who need it.

In summary, Simone Van Breda is a visionary leader in the cannabis industry, whose commitment and dedication have contributed significantly to promoting greater understanding and acceptance of this plant in society. Her work continues to inspire others and pave the way to a more enlightened and progressive future for the cannabis industry in Europe and beyond.