Modified on: 03/10/2023
Cannabis social club: would it be possible to open one in italy? Here’s how things stand.
If you have decided to open this article, you too are part of that group of curious people who would like to know whether opening a cannabis social club in Italy is possible.
But is this the case?
In this article, we will see the advantages of a CSC and whether it is possible to start this activity in Italy too.
Let’s start at the beginning: what is a cannabis social club?
Cannabis social clubs were created to protect the rights of cannabis consumers and producers and help establish cannabis policies that benefit society.
They generally consist of members, i.e. adult citizens, who organize the cultivation of a limited amount of cannabis to satisfy their personal needs. This way, a closed circuit is established between producers and consumers, ensuring specific health, safety, transparency, and accountability requirements are met.
The concrete form and mode of operation of a cannabis social club depend on the legal, political and cultural standards of the country in which it is established.
However, there are some basic principles and attitudes that all organizations adhere to and that distinguish them from other types of initiatives.
1. Supply follows demand, not vice versa.
A CSC’s production capacity is based on its members’ expected consumption level. Therefore, supply is organized to meet the demand of members, not vice versa.
2. No profit motive
Cannabis social clubs are non-profit associations. The financial benefits that the association may obtain from its economic activities are used to promote the association’s objectives and are not distributed among members.
CSCs aim to generate legal employment and to produce goods and services in a taxable manner.
Cannabis social clubs are legally registered associations.
Their internal organization is democratic and participatory; the decision-making body is the Annual General Assembly, where all members are invited to participate, and each member has one vote.
A narrative and financial report of the association’s activities in the previous year and a plan for the following year must be presented and approved at the AGM.
ASCs maintain a record of their activities, which is easily accessible to members, other ASCs or the authorities.
- financial reporting;
- the (anonymous) registration of members and their consumption;
- the (anonymous) recording of production.
4. Public health orientation
Cannabis social clubs only use cultivation methods that meet organic farming standards, develop an effective policy to prevent problematic cannabis use and promote safe and responsible use.
This includes providing members with factual information on cannabis: research is conducted on the health aspects of cannabis, and once tangible results are obtained, members are informed.
5. Open to dialogue with authorities
Cannabis social clubs are willing to engage in an open and transparent dialogue with the authorities.
Cannabis social club: the advantages of being a member in an authorized country
There are many advantages of belonging to a cannabis social club, but the most important one is safety: it discourages the consumption of illegally procured cannabis.
Club members know the quality of the cannabis they consume because it is tested before being supplied. Moreover, cultivation is carried out and supervised by the members themselves.
But that is not all.
Cannabis social clubs offer their members legal protection and counselling, which experienced public health professionals provide.
They also have private spaces where they can consume safely, avoiding exposure in public places.
In this regard, the governing boards of cannabis social clubs hold an annual meeting to report in writing on their activities and expenditure in a register so that their members or the authorities can monitor them.
In addition, the clubs guarantee
- privacy because production and registration data are kept anonymous;
- the public’s health because they provide information on cannabis consumption to prevent the onset of problems.
To sum up, the most crucial aspect for clubs is the responsible and safe use of cannabis, which is why, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, they have always initiated and promoted a productive dialogue with the authorities.
Let’s cut to the chase: are cannabis social clubs legal in Italy?
While until recently, it was not possible to open a cannabis social club in Italy, the situation seems to have changed.
On 9 October 2020, the first club was opened in Milan: The Hemp Club.
The first cannabis social club in Italy was named after Marco Pannella, a politician and activist who has always favoured the legalization of cannabis also in the Bel Paese.
But how does it work?
With a medical prescription, members of the club can request the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes and consume it directly within the structure.
Regarding the cultivation of the plants, the club has employed a lawyer who notifies the authorities of everything that happens inside the building.
In this article, we have seen what a cannabis social club is and what its advantages are. To protect users, CSCs are spaces where legally grown and health-safe marijuana can be consumed.