Spain’s Catalonia, especially the popular city of Barcelona, has become a cannabis hotspot since the beginning of this century. Both the locals and tourists come here to consume weed. The city has an open approach about cannabis consumption. The laws are somewhat more relaxed.
There are however, some differences between cannabis consumption in Barcelona and the US or Canada, where you can have recreational weed legally. The scene in Barcelona is somewhat similar to what you will find in Amsterdam.
In Barcelona, you cannot smoke cannabis in public because technically it is illegal. So you cannot sell it. You can even be jailed for 4 years if you are seen selling to underage people. Displaying or smoking it in public can attract a hefty fine. It can be seized. Legally, you can consume marijuana only in your home and at cannabis clubs.
So you must know about the city’s cannabis culture and the regulations to make sure that you are on the right side of the law.
Growing Cannabis in Barcelona
You can also grow it in private legally in your home. You can grow a maximum of two plants. Of course, if you are a tourist, you cannot naturally grow it in your home or at a hotel. So you will have to join a cannabis club. There are many of them in the city, mostly in the Ciutat Vella district.
The locals refer to these clubs as asociaciones cannábicas or clubes cannábicos. These clubs are not the same as the “coffee shops” of Amsterdam. They are private clubs, open only for their registered members. They cannot advertise legally, which makes the city’s cannabis culture somewhat underground, though it is legal.
How to Get Your Club Membership?
To become a member, either you must be invited by someone who is already a member of a cannabis club. Or you must receive a personal invitation here. This will be followed by an invitation email, which you have to respond to.
You will receive a membership QR Code, which you must show at the gate to gain entry to the club. You must also show your ID, like local identification or passport. You cannot just casually go into the club. There is also a membership fee, which differs from club to club.
These clubs are private associations. They are committed to the anonymity, security, and protection of their members. This information is not shared with anyone, even the government. The authorities cannot enter the club without first getting specific authorization. This is why, most of these clubs prefer to stay discreet, without disrupting the local Barcelona residents.
- You have to be 18 years old minimum
- You have to show a government-issued identification
- You must have received an invitation email
- You must reply to the email, showing your consent to become the cannabis club member
- You must show the membership QR Code at the club gate
- You have to pay a membership fee
- You will be advised not to leave the club with the marijuana
You must also provide a residential address in the city. This can be the resident address of your local friend or your Airbnb. This address will not be authenticated. Nothing is physically mailed to this address.
The membership fee just gives you entry into the club, usually for a year. This is payable even if you don’t consume any weed. The fee will differ for each club. But it is usually between 25 and 50 euros for a year. This fee is usually paid in cash.
The process is very simple and quick. There is very little paperwork involved.
Also remember, you cannot decide which club to join. Once you answer the invitation email, your sponsor will inform you about the time and date, and also the name of the cannabis club in Barcelona that will issue the membership.
Getting Cannabis at a Club in Barcelona
Legally, you cannot purchase marijuana in the city, even in a club. But, when you are a member of a club, you essentially become a part of the group that grows the thing and then disperses it among themselves. So, technically, you are not paying for the cannabis.
What you pay instead is the membership fee. This money is then used to grow marijuana, cover all the costs, and also maintain the facilities of the club. Many of these clubs will also sell beer, food, and organize events and music festivals. You will find DJs playing many genres of music.
How Much Cannabis Can You Get as a Member?
Even if you join a cannabis club in the city, you won’t be able to get unlimited quantities of the stuff. As it is only meant for your personal use. Typically, you can only get a maximum of five grams in a day. There is also a restriction on how much you can get in a month. The price number, once again, varies from club to club.
Often, you will be advised not to carry cannabis outside the premises. Remember, there can be legal penalties for possessing cannabis in public.
If, however, you decide to go out of the club with the marijuana, you must always carry it in your undergarment. That’s because the police can only search the place if they have a specific warrant.
What should you do if you get caught?
- Do not run or try to hide
- Do not resist arrest or turn violent
- Stay as silent as possible
- Do not tell them where and how you got it
- Never mention the club name
Cannabis is officially illegal in Barcelona. So there are no medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Spain doesn’t recognize medical marijuana yet. The doctors won’t prescribe cannabis. The only way you can have it in the city is by joining a club. Of course, you can also legally grow up to two plants in your home if you are a resident of the city.
Barcelona has a very interesting cannabis culture. Cannabis tourism is booming in the city as many people are coming here to consume marijuana legally. If you follow the rules by becoming a registered member of a club, then you will be on the right side of the law.
Enjoy cannabis safely and legally. You can also get to experience the many club activities.