Barcelona To “Destroy” All Cannabis Social Clubs In The City

The City Council and the Guardia Urbana have launched an inspection campaign in Spain that targets approximately 20 cannabis social clubs.

In an entire meeting last month, Albert Batlle, the deputy mayor who is known for his issue with marijuana, explained that his still up in the air to finish these associations up.

With over 4 million members, Spain’s cannabis social club system draws an estimated 6.6 to 12.4 million tourists annually.

The City Council in Barcelona is poised to tighten guidelines or regulations on getting to the marijuana social clubs across the city, as they are done filling their main purpose, but rather experiencing maltreatment from those looking for a lawful way to consume cannabis.

Although it is still illegal to use cannabis in Spain, the idea of cannabis social clubs frequently draws tourists and locals alike to Barcelona.

As per the councilor, there were increasing inspections to close these functions potentially, but he also recognised the difficulty of completely abolishing them, implying that a change in laws is necessary.

According to ElDario.es, the most recent inspections were more concerned with determining whether these establishments allow or encourage the use of cannabis.

Barcelona also wanted to close these clubs back in 2014, but decided not to go through with it due to “The Green Rose Regulation”, which regulated these establishments’ operations of cannabis use. However, the Spanish Supreme Court overthrew the legislation in 2021.

Legal protection for cannabis social clubs in the city was initially removed, leading operators to exploit a loophole by switching from a municipal cannabis club license to a more general “private social club” license.

Now, the city committee is set to be more severe, showing an expected crackdown on weed social clubs and raising worries about confined admittance or even closures.

Despite the fact that marijuana or weed is unlawful in Spain, social clubs keep working with it, allowing people to secretly grow and use it. In cities like Barcelona, locals and tourists can join these clubs by paying a membership fee for access to cannabis and social spaces.

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Spain’s marijuana social club system, serving more than 4 million clients, attracts an expected yearly tourism crowd of 6.6 to 12.4 million customers. The clubs, especially in Barcelona, fluctuate in size, with membership ranging from 3,000 to upwards of 50,000 members for the largest ones. However, due to tourists frequenting clubs occasionally, the actual membership may be lower.

The success of Spain’s cannabis social clubs has influenced other European countries. Malta, the first EU member to legalise personal cannabis use in December 2021, has incorporated access to such social clubs. Germany, expected to legalise cannabis soon, plans to include the establishment of cannabis social clubs in its legislation.

As these countries open up to cannabis use, destinations that have historically been tied to the image of ‘wild fun’ are looking into becoming more conservative. Amsterdam is one of the destinations where cannabis use is very common, but authorities in this city aim to limit its use in order to encourage respectable tourism.

credit: Schengen Visa

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