Casa Paraula Publications
The Legal Landscape for Cannabis Social Clubs
Civil Observatory on Drug Policy
A Preliminary Sketch of the Legal Landscape for Cannabis Social Clubs in Spain (2015)
by Amber Marks
The so-called ‘Spanish Cannabis Social Club model’ has generated a great deal of interest in drug policy circles. The model consists of a not-for profit association, democratically operated by its members, officially registered as a legal entity, which collects and distributes cannabis to its members, on private premises licensed for the sole access of members.
Several associations cultivate cannabis on behalf of their members. In order to be a member of a cannabis association a person must be an adult, a habitual user of cannabis, and the friend of a signed-up member. Members put money into the association and are thereby entitled, in addition to use of its facilities, to a proportionate share of its products, including cannabis.
The legal protection afforded to registered associations by the Constitution and national legislation means that they can only be dissolved by a court order. The licensing of private premises for the use of the association (social clubs) entails the adequate satisfaction of various municipal regulations and autonomous community laws concerned with matters such as health and safety, and the abatement of noise and noxious emissions.