Where can you smoke in Barcelona? In Cannabis Social Clubs!
When one thinks of Spain, particularly Barcelona, one imagines a liberal and open-minded country. Well, the sense of lightness and cheerfulness that one breathes in the capital of Catalonia is undoubtedly one of its characteristic aspects. This is also because, apart from Las Ramblas, Barceloneta, Parc Güell and the Sagrada Familia, there is no shortage of opportunities for experiences that would be off-limits in other countries.
Yes, we are talking about marijuana consumption. In this article, we will discuss some aspects of possessing and consuming cannabis seed products in Barcelona and explain how its coffee shops are organised.
Is it legal to smoke marijuana in Spain? What you need to know before consuming cannabis in Barcelona
Although there is greater tolerance of cannabis in Spain, before moving here or visiting as a tourist, you would do well to be aware of some legal aspects that are often misunderstood.
For a start, although marijuana consumption has been decriminalised in Spain, it is not possible to take it in public places but only at home or in coffee shops. Also, possession outside the home and private clubs where smoking is permitted is considered an offence punishable by a fine. Warning: we are talking about living for personal use! If you are caught possessing fewer than 50 grams of cannabis, you may be fined, but you will not be charged with trafficking.
We have used the conditional because in the Iberian country, possession within these limits is considered ‘discreet’, and the decision to fine or not can vary from case to case; in particular, if the marijuana you possess is not packaged and certified by the producer, you are more likely to be fined by the police. In short, the Spanish approach to marijuana consumption for personal use is more tolerant, but this does not mean that rules should not be respected.
Read also: Hemp oil for hair regrowth: its benefits
How to enter coffee shops in Barcelona and how they are organised
As long as you smoke inside your own home, there is no reason to worry in Barcelona. But in the Catalan pearl, as we have already mentioned, it is possible to smoke marijuana in places specially reserved for this kind of activity. These places are called ‘coffee shops’ because of their similarity to the areas in Amsterdam, where tourists and citizens of the Dutch capital dabble in experimenting with various types of weed. However, in Barcelona, these places are known as ‘Cannabis Social Clubs‘, and it is possible to consume cannabis freely inside them.
The government has authorised these places to counteract drug dealing and give people the opportunity to consume certified quality products. However, there is one thing you should be aware of: Cannabis Social Clubs are not public places where you can buy marijuana but private clubs where access is restricted to members only.
No buying and selling of cannabis take place within them (after all, this activity is legally illegal in Spain). Instead, their organisation is based on the fact that members, for a membership fee, enjoy the possibility of getting together with other marijuana enthusiasts to share an experience (in Spain, this is called compartido consumption, which means consumption in the company).
Membership in one of these clubs is open to everyone, both locals and tourists, as long as they have reached the age of majority, which in Spain is 21.
The differences between coffee shops in Barcelona and Amsterdam
If you already know how coffee shops in Amsterdam work, reading the previous paragraph will have shown you that things are different in Barcelona. If, on the other hand, you have no idea how coffee shops are organised in the Dutch capital and want to know the main differences between the two cities, you will now find out what they are.
In Amsterdam, coffee shops have been a tourist attraction for several decades and have invaded the city. This implies that anyone hanging around the streets and canals of Amsterdam is free to walk into a hash bar at any time, choose the quality of weed they prefer and sit down to smoke, perhaps supplementing their smoke with a drink and a hemp-based dish. In Barcelona, however, social clubs cannot display signs or advertise their activity. Therefore, spotting them from the outside is almost impossible; to find them, you must inquire about their location. Also – as we have already mentioned – entry is not free, and you will have to register as a member, which you can only do if a club or one of its members provides you with an invitation.
Another feature that differentiates the two cities is that while in the Amsterdam coffee shops, you pay for what you consume, in the Cannabis Social Club, you pay your fee and receive a certain amount of weed (previously agreed upon according to the services you want to use) with daily, monthly and annual limits. However, one thing in common is that in both cases, you must consume the marijuana exclusively within the premises, with full respect for the other patrons.
As you may have discovered, in Spain (specifically Barcelona), there is a much higher tolerance for recreational marijuana use. In our country, however, although the cultivation and consumption of cannabis are illegal, it is possible to buy certified marijuana seeds from authorised retailers such as Sensoryseeds, a leader in the online sale of feminized seeds, autoflowering seeds and fast flowering seeds.