Barcelona has over 200 Cannabis clubs, over the years it’s become better known as Spains marijuana capital with tourist from all corners of the earth coming to visit the city for its members-only cannabis clubs, not only for it’s beautiful architecture and beaches.
In 2017 Barcelona legalized the cultivation, distribution and consumption of Cannabis in it’s clubs to it’s private members on-site. Anyone can become a member fees are generally around €10 (£8.50), a simple google search will lead you to their websites where you can easily sign up in minutes.
The clubs offer a private setting for you to purchase, consume and socialize. From what I’ve seen online most of these clubs offer a bar lounge-like experience with a number of amenities such as billiards tables, comfortable couches, coffee and even gaming consoles like a Playstation 4 – FIFA anyone?
This week it’s being reported that the 200+ cannabis clubs in Barcelona face closure after the Catalan High Court shut a legal loophole that has seen the city become the marijuana capital of Spain.
Since then the clubs have operated under a Barcelona city bylaw that regulated their use, up until now this has now been overturned with the judges ruling that the city authorities were not competent to legislate on matters governed by the state.
“The majority of associations assume that sooner or later they will be forced to close down,” said Eric Asensio, spokesman for the Federation of Catalan Cannabis Associations. About 70% of Spain’s cannabis clubs are in Catalonia, the majority in Barcelona.
The latest ruling prohibits “the sale, consumption or promotion” of cannabis. It said it would soon be inspecting the clubs throughout the city – “starting with the ones with the most negative impact and which are geared towards tourists and massive sales”.
The associations began as private clubs where members could buy and smoke cannabis on the premises. In recent years, many have departed from this model to become outlets for the massive quantities of cannabis grown in Catalonia, often under the control of eastern European and other mafias.
However, the associations, city authorities and police all agree that the clubs reduce street dealing and consumption. The police say they are not opposed in principle to the clubs.
“Once again the judiciary is attacking the associations without taking into account the reality of Barcelona, a city that has co-existed with these entities for more than 30 years,” the federation said in a statement.
“What’s needed is a legal framework that recognizes the existing reality and to obtain the necessary regulatory mechanisms in collaboration with the public authorities, with a clear emphasis on public health,” Asensio said.