You heard right – coffee shops are an increasing staple of a really good Barcelona itinerary.
This begs the question: can you get legal weed in Barcelona?
The answer is a fitting… well, like, kind of, man.
Though it’s a bit of a judicial jerk around there’s no reason you shouldn’t be safe – but don’t get the munchies and go wandering for a kebab just yet!
You need to inform yourself first or you could end up in hot water.
Here’s how to stay out of trouble.
The Skinny on Legal Weed in Barcelona
The Law in Spain
In Barcelona cannabis clubs are more tolerated than in any other European country I’ve visited. Here are the facts:
- Cultivation is legal for personal consumption (as long as plants aren’t publicly visible)
- Transport is decriminalized
- Consumption is legal in private
- Public purchase, consumption, or possession is a misdemeanor punishable by fine
OK yeah, but is weed legal in Barcelona?
There is a massive confusion about Barcelona coffee shops due to gray areas about personal use, what constitutes public/private – but in the end what can be said is an exploitable legal vacuum has been created opening the doors to over 200 Barcelona cannabis clubs.
I can’t stress this enough though – weed consumption is only allowed in private. For this reason many Barcelonians seem to be affected by agoraphobia 🙂
If you pick up, your little package should be treated like it would be in any other city. The police won’t hesitate to make it into an issue if you’re careless.
How do Barcelona Cannabis Clubs Work?
By becoming a member of a Barcelona cannabis club you give up your growing rights to the association.
In other words, the club is in charge of growing your plants for you, your personal consumption as granted by Spanish law. This is defined as two plants per individual. All you have to do is go pick up your part of the harvest.
Are Barcelona Cannabis Clubs Legal or Not?
Coffee shops in Barcelona are a recent phenomenon and it’s not easy to state whether the law permits them or not.
What we do know is that one of the first clubs was forced to close but eventually managed to win in court and get itself back in business. Since then the number of cannabis associations has increased dramatically.
Cannabis clubs are exclusively non-profit organizations and they regularly pay their taxes. Most provide legal assistance to members getting in trouble with the police while ‘carrying home the harvest’.
Though the legality of the cannabis clubs themselves is up for debate, the odds of any one member getting into serious legal trouble are slim to none.
Barcelona Cannabis Club Prerequisites
- You must be 18 years of age (21 in some clubs)
- Have a valid EU passport/identity card
- Cash for membership fees
- An invitation from an existing member (this can be easily worked around, read on)
Getting in the Front Door at Barcelona Cannabis Clubs
As a general rule you won’t be able to get into a Barcelona weed cafe just by showing up.
A current member of the association has to ‘invite’ you to be part of the club and be your sponsor. The founder of any given association also has the power to grant membership. Befriend one of these guys and you’re in!
Subscription generally requires payment of a 10 to 20 euro annual fee. Then you’re granted the right to pick up a given amount of harvest on a daily basis. This amount varies depending on your ‘consumption declaration’ at sign up.
Every club grows different varieties of weed (starting from €6/gr.) and some even offer hashish. These plants are generally grown outdoors in authorized fields but it’s also common to find clubs that grow their plants indoors. Either way, the quality is high and miles above the oregano sold on La Rambla.
Definitely the best weed in Barcelona.
TIP: I’ve seen guys walking around the lively Gotico area targeting tourists with flyers for ‘no-invite’ cannabis clubs. These expedited membership clubs may be a good option if you’re only in town for a few days.
WARNING: Some clubs have a 14 day hold on purchase which won’t do you any good on holiday. Ask first.
Weed in Barcelona – Cannabis Club Options
You never know what to expect when entering a cannabis club for the first time. It may be just one room or spread out over three floors. It could be immaculately decorated or totally rundown.
There have been rumours of more ‘adventurous’ clubs offering memberships to tourists after as much as a brief Facebook message. Try and reach some clubs via social media and I’m sure you’ll have your in.
Dragon Cannabis club promises membership simply for following them on Facebook.
Did you end up getting in!? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for more Barcelona advice!