First time at the cannabis club. What should I do?

Regulations for cannabis clubs in Barcelona 2020

In the beginning, to make it easier to understand some non-obvious points, related to activities of cannabis social clubs let’s get straight with the basics of their functioning.

Сannabis social clubs are private organizations in Spain and Catalonia that operate as nonprofit collectives that provide a way for both residents and tourists to access weed discreetly.

Spain allows cannabis social clubs to operate for a few reasons:

  • Cannabis clubs are nonprofit. Since these clubs are not making any kind of profits off their cannabis products, they fall slightly outside of Spain’s recreational drug trafficking laws.
  • Cannabis clubs are required to be private organizations and do not encourage an increased number of cannabis users.

First time at the club

Well, I guess you have read our guide on how to find and join the cannabis club yet. I only wish to remind you don’t forget to bring a photo ID, either a driver’s license or a passport and some amount of cash.

Once you have been done essential paper work on the reception and verified by security, you’ll be allowed to buy a membership in the cannabis club.

These are usually sold on an annual basis, which means that once you buy one, you’ll have free access to that club for the next twelve months. Yearly Membership Fee doesn’t include anything from the dispensary, you will continue to “donate” every time you want to use cannabis in the club.

Now that you have joined a cannabis club, you are probably wondering how you get marijuana since you are unable to purchase it. When you get cannabis at a club, you are exchanging money to help maintain the facilities and production of the club. This can also sometimes be called a “donation”.

Things you need to know

You should never ask to purchase marijuana while visiting a cannabis club. Since they are not shop, you cannot buy a product, and they legally cannot sell it to you either.

It’s important to always use a non-financial word when at a cannabis club. Many clubs will refuse you service if you ask to buy weed.

Just to be safe, always ask if you can “get”, “have”, “acquire” or “collect” weed.

Do not try to haggle. The prices that are listed are the prices you pay. Unlike some other regions of Europe, Catalonian people do not value haggling as part of their culture, so come prepared to pay whatever price is listed.

Don’t think cannabis is legal everywhere

As we have mentioned in our article, what you do in private is of no one else’s concern in Spain. Thanks to Spain’s very liberal privacy policies, as long as you are consuming marijuana in the club, there are no issues. Even if you are still feeling the effects of the product after leaving the club, you are still within your legal rights. To make you feel better, these laws have been tested in courts, and they always uphold. But cannabis from clubs is meant for personal use and is not intended to leave the club. Remember, technically marijuana is not legal in Spain, and the possession of the substance can result in fines ( of around 500-1000€ as usual). If you do take marijuana from a club, police are not able to search bras or underwear, so you should keep it there to be safe. We’re not encouraging you to break the law—we’re just suggesting that you use common sense.

The quantity of weed you can obtain is limited

Clubs are limited to how much cannabis they are allowed to serve to customers. This limit will be different for each club, but be aware that to stay legal under Spanish law, the maximum that is accepted as “personal use” is 100 gr in a monthly period. If they cross the line, then it becomes obvious that they are giving more than just the “personal” use to their customers. Clubs keep a record of how much is distributed to each person and when the limit is reached, no more cannabis is provided.

Take an interest

Cannabis clubs are not only a legal environment to enjoy marijuana, but it also is a place to learn. Once you are inside the club, feel free to ask for more information about the different products they offer. Staff is always knowledgeable about their products, and they are there to help you. Clubs are also a comfortable and positive environment. The social aspects of cannabis clubs are more intimate than dispensaries or coffee houses in Amsterdam. That can be a little bit uncomfortable at first. But when you’ve gotten to know everyone, you’ll probably find that it’s the part you enjoy most. For the most part, a visit to a cannabis club will be an awful lot like hanging out in your living room. Some are pretty cramped and a little bit run down, but others are spacious and comfortable.

Some details to be considered when selecting the cannabis club

Different clubs offer different services and amenities. For example, some have big projector screens where they play music videos or movies. Others have arcade games or pool tables, while others have almost nothing except some music to enjoy. Some pet-friendly, so you can take your favorite four-legged pal. You might even find a foosball table in some of the clubs you visit. You can always participate in these services when you enter the club as a member.

Certain clubs may have policies about consuming alcohol, so it’s best to ask the staff before you enter what is and is not allowed concerning booze. However, most clubs let you bring your food so that you can chow down on some munchies inside. Some clubs may even serve basic food or snacks. You can also bring your non-alcoholic beverages inside all clubs.

Some clubs also have their own rules and terms for members that you will need to follow. You are not permitted to take photos inside of clubs without permission.

Etiquette tips

Clubs do not want attention drawn to them. Although they are legal private entities, they still do not want to deal with any complaints. Avoid hanging out in front of the club you are joining, and that includes bicycles or other forms of transportation. When trying to find the club, avoid pointing, yelling, or causing a disturbance outside of the club. Be discreet, respectful and quiet at all times. Don’t move in groups larger than 5 people and don’t take any luggage to the club. Any misbehavior could mean the cancellation of your membership and permanent expulsion from the club.

Overall the cannabis clubs in Barcelona and the rest of Spain mostly enjoy a reputation for being mellow environments, and you shouldn’t have any problems while you’re spending time at a club.

The thing that makes a good cannabis club is the members. If you find one with good people, you’ll have a better time.

Dos and don’ts briefly

  1. Bring your ID
  2. Bring cash
  3. Don’t be blatant around the club entrance
  4. Don’t try to ask questions before joining the club
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, once you are inside the club
  6. Don’t use financial words
  7. Don’t try to haggle
  8. Don’t be noisy
  9. Do know the appropriate dosage for your size
  10. Don’t think cannabis must be legal everywhere


 

AUTHOR

Arthur Hutchinson

Cannabis culture researcher, journalist and consultant of cannabisguidebarcelona.com

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