Spain’s culture is relatively cannabis-friendly, despite the tricky and complicated legislation. The country is also one of the most liberalized in Europe when it comes to weed.
While marijuana is illegal when used for commercial purposes, it has been decriminalized for personal use and personal cultivation, as well as for other uses that are not for the purpose of sale or trade.
Cannabis social clubs are also very popular in the country, given that the people’s right to associate is guaranteed by Spanish law. These clubs are non-profit associations that grow cannabis and sell it to members.
Spain’s cannabis laws
Spain is not a centralized country. This means that cannabis laws – and other laws for that matter – vary from one region to another. Any region can set up its own policies relating to marijuana. Yet despite this, Spain is a generally comfortable place to consume weed.
The Spanish government does not differentiate between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis. And you are not prohibited from consuming it, regardless of whether it is for medical or recreational purposes.
Consumption and possession, however, should be restricted to private places. Yet while consumption is illegal in public spaces, it is not considered a criminal offense. In fact, offenders are merely fined €300 in most cases. And, generally speaking, cannabis bought from any of the cannabis shops is not allowed off the property.
Spain’s cannabis legislation is also considered unique because their drug laws can’t reach into privately owned spaces. Because of this, you can cultivate cannabis plants at home then smoke it at home, and not worry about getting arrested and jailed. It is a different story, though, if you are caught cultivating cannabis for commercial purposes and not just for personal use.
Selling cannabis is a crime that is punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison. The only place where you can buy weed is by being a member of a cannabis social club. Members will need to pay a fee, which will be used by the club to grow cannabis as well as for the upkeep of the property.
Cannabis clubs in Spain
Barcelona is the cannabis hub in Spain and is even quickly becoming the weed capital of Europe and the “new Amsterdam.” The city has nearly 300 registered members-only cannabis clubs or associations, with over 200,000 memberships. Madrid, by comparison, has less than a hundred clubs.
Cannabis clubs are different from cannabis coffee shops (like those in the Netherlands) in that cannabis clubs are private social clubs where cannabis is only made accessible to its members, while coffee shops openly sell cannabis, along with coffee.
Because the consumption of cannabis is prohibited in public places, it is policy for cannabis clubs that users smoke inside the premises. Only members are allowed to enter these clubs, too, and in order for you to join one, you have to be endorsed by an existing member or you have to directly contact the club. You also have to be over 21 years old, as well as a Spain resident, in order to be allowed entry into the club.