Catalonia, Spain has been home to openly running cannabis clubs for years, with nearby Barcelona recognized as the crowning jewel. Today the Catalonia Parliament approved an ambitious proposal to regulate cannabis instead of tolerating it in the gray area, as the region has done for so many years.
Although Catalonia is a region of Spain, it operates legally as its own autonomous entity, and this is evident in the culture of Barcelona and other cities. Cannabis in Barcelona is almost completely tolerated. In 2015, an activist group called La Rosa Verda collected over 56,000 signatures to legalize cannabis. Catalonia’s Parliament responded with a review of cannabis with over 30 experts weighing in including former officials from the region’s National Drug Plan and the Uruguayan Drug Board.
The changes are long overdue. “The law we will approve is very advanced and gives a very clear message,” Alba Vergés, Chairwomen of the Health Commission in Parliament, told HuffPost. “It’s time for a paradigm shift when it comes to legislating on drugs.”
Adults 21 and over can possess up to 60 grams per month and young adults between 18 and 21 years of age can legally possess 20 grams per month. There is no limit for patients that consume cannabis medicinally.
Cannabis clubs, which have already been in operation, cannot produce more than 150 kilograms of dried cannabis per year under the new regulations. All cannabis will be signed off by agronomists, and all transportation will be documented detailing the establishment responsible for each crop.
The law calls for the Catalonia government to assess the feasibility of sales tax on cannabis, given the fact that Barcelona cannabis clubs made $5 million per month in 2013. Some sources estimate that the real number is twice as high. The law can still be challenged in court by the central government before the Constitutional Court.