By / January 16, 2024

Barcelona City Council on the Assault Against Cannabis Clubs

The Barcelona City Council, led by Jaume Collboni, is seriously considering the closure of all Cannabis Clubs. These establishments, which have flourished over the last decade, have become the main access route to cannabis in the city.

The recent change in stance by the Council, which had been quite protective until now, has triggered a series of inspections and caused concern among Club administrators and activists who have long defended Barcelona’s unique Cannabis Club model.

For more news like this, along with all the latest in legalization, research, and lifestyle, download our free cannabis news app.

Legal Uncertainty and Political Change in Barcelona

The Council’s newfound determination to close the cannabis social clubs marks a significant shift from its previous position of tolerance and defense of regulation. Albert Batlle, third deputy mayor and councilor for security, recently declared the Council’s intention to “put an end” to these clubs, emphasizing the need for a meticulous approach “with legal certainty, rigor, and without the disruptions caused by haste”.

In 2021, the High Court of Justice of Catalonia annulled the Council’s 2016 regulations, leaving these establishments without a legal basis.

The recent inspection campaigns, different from previous ones, aim to verify whether the consumption of cannabis is actively encouraged within these clubs. Club administrators reveal an increased intensity during these inspections, suggesting a potential crackdown on cannabis-related activities. The Council, while remaining discreet on the issue, asserts that it is striving to “ensure the legality of these establishments”.

Cannabis Clubs Face Rising Inspection Intensity

The controversy surrounding Barcelona’s cannabis social clubs has generated confusion and frustration among activists who have long defended this model as a means of diverting cannabis consumption from the streets, thereby reducing associated risks.

However, the lack of clear regulation has allowed a subset of unscrupulous establishments to operate, blurring the lines between legitimate clubs and those facilitating illicit activities. Activists lament being unjustly grouped with traffickers by the City Council and insist on the need for nuanced regulation that distinguishes between responsible cannabis consumption and illicit trade.

International Recognition

As Barcelona contemplates the closure of Cannabis Social Clubs, other countries are adopting similar models. Germany is set to open such places in April 2024, while the Czech Republic recently scaled back its ambitions for full legalization to focus on establishing Cannabis Social Clubs. Malta has also bet on Clubs while different models of associations exist in South America.

In December, Barcelona experts met with the president of Malta to share their insights on the functioning of these spaces, highlighting international interest and recognition of this model.

Despite the regulatory challenges faced in Barcelona, the city’s cannabis social clubs continue to be a source of inspiration for countries navigating the complex terrain of cannabis legalization and regulation. An international delegation visited Barcelona’s clubs last March, including parliamentarians from various European countries, officials from the United States, and representatives from South American countries.

(Featured image by Kaspars Upmanis via Unsplash)

DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third-party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of, its management, staff, or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.

This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.

First published in Newsweed, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.

Comments are closed for this post.