Barcelona the New Amsterdam - Legal Cannabis Clubs in Spain

Barcelona Review by EJ Kensington

Please note: The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of

Barcelona the new Amsterdam


Photograph by Ashton Doyle

Moving to Barcelona

Last year I decided that I would skip the bad weather in the UK and spend the winter in Barcelona. I rented a lovely little studio flat on the coast in a beautiful little area called Barceloneta (400 Euros per month). The flat was unfurnished but had a lovely communal roof terrace, and as mine was the top flat I decided that the roof terrace belonged to me. I then got the internet out and found the nearest IKEA - yes, there is an IKEA in Barcelona! I then proceeded to furnish my little studio and explore Barcelona.

Barcelona has more to offer than meets the eye

Once I picked up basic language skills, I discovered that Barcelona has more to offer than meets the eye. I was pleasantly surprised to find that everything operates at a snail's pace and stress does not exist in that part of the world. I also discovered that Barcelona is the hidden Amsterdam for those that favour the natural herb.

Crime-free marijuana and the legal limbo

Apparently, a loophole was found in the law in order to be able to provide its citizens with crime free marijuana. I was told, every citizen is allowed to grow and keep 2 plants in their home for personal use, and while this idea seems very long and tedious, there are clubs and services that are happy to take that burden off your hands. If you look about hard enough you will find legal private members clubs that for a membership fee of up to 20 Euros a year, will take your allowance of 2 plants and provide you with a regular yield at a fair price that you can collect from the club every day (just like a shop). For every member that joins, the club can then add and grow another two plants to their ever growing fields of herb. Upon joining, you are provided with a welcome leaflet and information on all the laws, that for example state that you are now giving up your allowance of two plants to the club and you will not be able to grow your own at home.

While there may be a law that states that it is illegal to transport cannabis, allegedly there is also a law that states that the police are not allowed to search you around your personal/private areas, so as you can imagine, there is a bit of improvisation that takes place on the streets of Barcelona.

Some clubs are a little nicer than others but they all provide the same function. You will always get a few different strains on offer and will never be disappointed by strengths and tastes as every batch is monitored for a high standard. Every yield is tested to be of the highest grade and if the grades do not meet the required criteria, they will not be sold at the clubs that day. On arrival you will be offered drinks and a seat and some of the nicer clubs will even host cinema evenings and club nights where you can get to know fellow smokers.

The really wonderful thing was that smokers of herb are not penalised in Barcelona like they are here in the UK. You will regularly catch a whiff of a big banger being lit and smoked by groups of respectable guys and girls on the busy streets of Barcelona. There are lots of students and you will regularly see them enjoying these natural herbs as marijuana is tolerated in Barcelona.

My best of Barcelona

My favourite memories of Barcelona are and always will be sitting on my roof terrace in mid-February in a bikini, smoking a big banger and drinking sangria while thinking of all the poor, cold, wet, sober muppets dragging their sorry butts to work on the delayed and overcrowded tubes in London!


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