Do you know that Barcelona is called “New Amsterdam”, being a popular destination for cannabis tourism?
The city has over 200 cannabis clubs, which operate completely legally, and we know everything about them. Our team of cannabisenthusiasts will gladly guide you into the friendly world of Barcelona cannabis clubs and provide all the necessary information with timely updates.
We have covered all the main questions on marijuana usage in Spain and cannabis clubs in Barcelona. Our detailed answers will make it easy for tourists to understand the rules and blend in the cozy community breezily.
It depends. On the one hand, you cannot import cannabis in Spain, sell it on the streets or in stores, and consume it in a public place. When it comes to cannabis distribution, it is considered a criminal offense, which results in strict penalties up to imprisonment. If you are caught when purchasing and carrying marijuana or smoking it in public spaces, you will be punished for an administrative offense. It leads to cannabis confiscation and fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of euros.
However, the legislation in Spain left enough loopholes for cannabis clubs to appear back in the early 90s. The point is that cannabis is allowed for personal use and cultivation in private areas. Any adult is allowed to grow two cannabisplants even in a short-term rental and consume weed outside plain sight, including co-consumption. You can also legally purchase weed and smoking accessories throughout Spain.
Moreover, Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, legalized the cultivation, consumption, and distribution of marijuana for members of designated cannabis clubs in 2017. Although the clubs are required to obtain a license and follow strict rules, consuming cannabis within their walls is absolutely legal. You can learn more on this issue in a corresponding article in our blog.
Here is a quick insight into how you can join one of the coffee shops in Barcelona. The first thing to remember is that all clubs are for members only. Since no one can enter a private cannabis club without an invitation, you need to have a friend who is already a member of the club and can act as a referral. Another way to join a cannabis club is by applying for membership through its web page. With a little luck, you will receive a positive answer that reads like this:
“Thank you for your application. Please bring your ID and show this message at the reception desk”.
A denial may be wrapped this way:
“Thank you for your application. New members are currently not allowed. We will get in contact with you when new memberships are available.”
However, it might be tricky to reach out to the closed cannabis clubs. The fact is that only a few of them have websites and social media pages or provide email addresses to get in touch with them. Others refrain from advertising on the Internet to avoid legal consequences.
Thanks to the unique ambiance created in the city’s clubs and the high quality of marijuana offered, you can chill out in the perfect way. You are free to taste a smell, touch a product, or discuss any type of weed to find what suits you most. The clubs make it possible for visitors to have smoking accessories at no cost. You can also order snacks or drinks, including beer, wine, and even stronger beverages. In many coffee shops, visitors can play video games, slots, table games, and billiard sports, watch football matches, and listen to live music.
The first thing you need to know is that you must not use the lingo directly associated with trading marijuana. You must use some other word instead of “purchase”, “buy”, or “sell”, such as:
“I want to have/get/acquire/collect 5-euros worth Skunk”.
The reason behind this kind of language is that the city’s clubs must act as non-commercial institutions to avoid legal trouble.
As regards other restrictions, you should not:
As for taking out some marijuana to use it elsewhere, the clubs disapprove of that. Although nobody would run hands through your pockets and visitors might hide weed in their undergarments, there is always a chance to be caught on the street with pants full of drugs.
In this regard, Spanish law is absolutely clear – any person who purchases weed either on the streets or in any other location violates the laws and is subject to penalties. Tourists need to understand that any activities with marijuanasomehow associated with commercial purposes are prohibited in Spain. Although people buying weed are not considered criminals (unlike those who sell it), they are still offenders. The police have the full power to arrest a citizen or touristpurchasing marijuana and seize the weed found. Further, Spanish authorities will impose penal fines on the lawbreaker, which start from 600 euros and may reach thousands of euros.
Besides, since cannabis distribution is banned in the country, people selling marijuana on the streets are definitely criminals, with all the related risks for buyers, especially foreigners. However, you may stumble across a street promoterwho is not actually distributing weed but rather touting certain establishments. Such coffeeshops are frowned upon by locals. They focus on stripping tourists of money instead of creating a comfortable atmosphere and a sense of privacy, providing ultimate security for a visitor, and promoting the unique cannabis culture of Spain. Since these establishmentsaim at a one-time visit, they are unlikely to bear any responsibility for the product quality as well.
Recognized as a major destination for cannabis tourism both in Europe and the world, Amsterdam offers quite a different experience than Barcelona cannabis clubs. A coffeeshop in Amsterdam works more like a fast-food outlet than a social club – anyone of the legal age can enter the establishment to purchase weed, and no memberships are required. As the Netherlands is world-famous for its lax cannabis law, the coffee shops are usually full of tourists, and many of them are just driven by curiosity. Hence, if you are looking for a hectic atmosphere, don’t mind people bustling in and out, and have no concern about privacy, you will love the environment.
Cannabis clubs in Barcelona take another approach. They are closed communities of cannabis enthusiasts where privacyand safety are highly appreciated. Most of the members are local residents, who know each other for years. Tourists can join a cannabis club only by earning membership, and the clubs are loath to accept many new visitors. So, upon paying a membership fee, you will get access to an exclusive yet friendly environment perfect for relaxation and socializing, with all the hustle and bustle left behind the doors.
As the name suggests, these clubs are primarily intended for socializing. They are places where you can go with friends to chitchat, relax, have some fun, or even play a game while having a drink or smoking a joint. This is a unique formatworking on a reimbursable basis – you are not buying anything but making a contribution to support the club and cover its expenses. So, the clubs exist as non-profit organizations to comply with legal requirements.
Catalonia adopted a law that allows the legal use and distribution of cannabis for members of designated clubs, which are licensed and regulated by the local authorities. If you are not a member, you can be arrested by the police for illegal drug possession or consumption, which results in rather heavy fines. So, you need a membership to enjoy your cannabisexperience in Barcelona with no risk involved.
Any adult person (18 or 21 years old depending on the policy of a particular club) can apply for membership. You can find information on the legal adult age accepted by each club on our website. Technically, a foreign tourist is not legally prohibited from joining a cannabis club although it is recommended to be cagey about it.
Actually, you can, as there are plenty of street promoters with flyers inviting tourists and locals to visit a club with no prior registration. However, such clubs are illegal in their essence since the law requires them to operate as closed communities and prohibits advertising their services. A club that values its reputation and strives to comply with all the legal regulations will never issue permission to enter the club without registered memberships.
To start with, clubs must verify that their members are full-aged, so any new visitor has to provide a passport or another ID document with their name, date of birth, and photo on it. In addition, the clubs won’t be able to operate as private organizations in compliance with the law without getting basic personal data from their members. You will also need to provide your address, which can be a hotel or rental apartment.
Since Europeans are more into smoking weed, you are likely to find a dozen sativa, indica, and hybrid flower strains at the dispensaries, along with a variety of hash and concentrates. Pre-rolls, and vape pens are also on the menu, though the choice of edibles is not as wide as in North American locations. However, Barcelona cannabis clubs boast products of the best quality, besides, all kinds of smoking devices and paper for rolling are provided for free.
You need to understand that membership fees paid to enter a club do not cover the cost of the products you get at the dispensaries. The fee basically ranges from €20 to €50 and grants annual membership only. All the products from the menu are charged separately, with 1 gram of weed costing €5-18. The price of concentrates and extracts usually starts from €20 and can reach €70. Keep in mind that cash is a default payment method, though some clubs accept credit cards.
As anyone would like to avoid unpleasant mistakes and embarrassing situations, here are our simple instructions on how to behave in a cannabis club in Barcelona:
When the formal things are finished, you will be allowed to enter a lounge. Here, you will see a bar with the productassortment offered. The bars are called dispensaries while an individual who serves cannabis is called a budtender. As you might guess, it’s a combination of the words “bud” and “bartender”. A budtender will give you details on available brandsand weed costs so that you could order something perfectly chiming with your mood and get the best possible experiencewhile consuming cannabis in Barcelona.