The supreme court closed a legal loophole that had made cannabis clubs in Barcelona the marijuana capital of Spain.
It is the most recent setback for the asociaciónes, as they are commonly referred to. A Catalan law that stated that “private consumption of cannabis by adults… is part of the exercise of the fundamental right to free personal development and freedom of conscience” was overturned by the court in 2017.
Since that time, the clubs have operated under a Barcelona city bylaw that controlled how they were used. However, the judges’ decision that the city authorities were not competent to legislate on matters governed by the state has now also been overturned.
Eric Asensio, a spokesperson for the Federation of Catalan Cannabis Associations, stated, “The majority of associations assume that sooner or later they will be forced to close down.” The majority of Spain’s cannabis clubs can be found in Barcelona, which is located in Catalonia.
The associations have been informed by the city, which supports their quasi-legal status, that the most recent ruling forbids “the sale, consumption, or promotion” of cannabis. It stated that it would soon conduct an inspection of the clubs, “beginning with the ones with the most negative impact and which are geared toward tourists and huge sales.”
Despite being essentially private members’ clubs, these associations have emerged as the primary point of purchase for tourists, charging a membership fee of approximately €10 (£8.50) that frequently goes toward the initial purchase.
In the beginning, the associations were private clubs where members could purchase and smoke cannabis on the premises. Many have moved away from this model in recent years to become retail locations for the enormous quantities of cannabis that are grown in Catalonia, frequently under the control of eastern European and other mafias.
However, the associations, city officials, and police are all in agreement that the clubs cut down on street consumption and dealing. The police assert that they are not fundamentally opposed to the clubs.
The federation stated in a statement that “once again the judiciary is attacking the associations without taking into consideration the reality of Barcelona, a city that has co-existed with these entities for more than 30 years.”
“The Barcelona associations are a European model for new drug policies that focus on the individual and their health that has been exported to other countries.”
The federation has asked to be a part of the city council’s working group that is looking for a legislative solution.
“What’s required is a legitimate system that perceives the current reality and to get the essential administrative components in a joint effort with the public specialists, with a reasonable accentuation on general wellbeing,” Asensio told the Gatekeeper.
No More Pot The travel industry In Barcelona?
Court Overturns “Clubes Cannábicos” Regulations Since the beginning, there has been a loophole in the law governing “clubes cannábicos” or “asociaciones cannábicas,” places in Barcelona where people can freely buy and smoke marijuana.
Now that proviso is being shut through a choice by Catalonia’s Prevalent Court upsetting a 2016 guideline endorsed by the Barcelona City Chamber allowing the clubs to work in the city
The spearheading pot social club model, solidified throughout the last ten years for the most part in Catalonia — where 70% of Spain’s complete work in Barcelona among 200 to 350 clubs — has helped brand the city as one of Europe’s marijuana capitals.
The “boom of the Cannabis Clubs” in the Catalonian city is frequently mentioned in the media.
The marijuana clubs in Barcelona, in contrast to the coffee shops in Amsterdam, are “private associations” in which anyone who wishes to enter must first complete a membership registration and pay a fee.