Tag: Spain

hemp cannabis flower plant garden outdoor

Agreement Reached In Spain For Future Regulation Of ‘Cannabis Light’

Spain is home to one of the most unique approaches to cannabis policy out of any nation on the planet. The nation has one of the most robust and vibrant cannabis communities on earth, yet the cannabis public policies in Spain are very outdated.

Anyone with internet access and the ability to use a popular online search engine can see that private cannabis clubs are located throughout Spain, with huge clumps of them being located in Barcelona in particular. Unfortunately, Spain’s laws and regulations are such that all of those clubs operate in a legal grey area versus being licensed and outright accepted.

Cannabis advocates inside and outside of Spain were hopeful that the start of 2023 would see a cannabis regulatory measure finally reach the finish line and get the nation’s laws to match reality, however, that has yet to materialize.

What has materialized is an agreement in Spain’s Congress to, eventually, regulate low-THC cannabis. Low-THC cannabis is often referred to as ‘cannabis light’ and is very popular in many European nations. Perhaps someday Spain will join those nations in regulating such products. Per Europa Press (translated to English):

The PSOE has agreed on an initiative in Congress with Unidas Podemos, Esquerra (ERC) and Bildu that opens the door to a future regulation of non-psychoactive cannabis, that whose percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the euphoric drug, is less than 1% .

Unidas Podemos and the two pro-independence allies of the Government presented an initiative this Wednesday in the Congressional Agriculture Commission demanding the regulation of the production and commercialization of this crop in order to offer legal certainty to producers and marketers.

It will be interesting to see if 1) this type of reform actually gets adopted in the near future, and 2) if it will have any meaningful impact on Spain’s cannabis industry. To be clear – providing this type of reform to the nation’s emerging cannabis industry is helpful, although, exactly how helpful it would be is open for debate.

What Spain really needs is a comprehensive cannabis policy and regulatory overhaul. Cannabis products containing all types of THC percentages, including concentrates that contain large amounts of THC, are being consumed every day in Spain. It’s a reality that lawmakers and regulators ignore at a cost to public health.

Consumers and patients in Spain deserve safe access to tested cannabis. Entrepreneurs in Spain deserve to operate in a business landscape that affords them every reasonable opportunity to supply the nation’s demand in a way that boosts public health and generates revenue for public coffers.


International Cannabis Business Conference Barcelona 2023

The Global Cannabis Industry’s Increasing Momentum Was On Full Display In Barcelona

The emerging legal international cannabis industry is stronger now than at any other time since the dawn of prohibition so many decades ago, and that was on full display last week in Barcelona where leading cannabis investors, entrepreneurs, activists, policymakers, and industry service providers from all over the planet gathered at the International Cannabis Business Conference on March 9th.

March in Barcelona has largely developed into the start of ‘cannabis event season’ for the international cannabis community in recent years, with the International Cannabis Business Conference partnering once again with Spannabis (held March 10th-12th) to put on the world’s largest cannabis super-event in 2023.

The two events combine for what is likely the closest thing in this world to an international cannabis community reunion, and it’s always heartwarming and inspiring to see old friends connecting (in addition to new friendships being created).

International Cannabis Business Conference Barcelona 2023

The International Cannabis Business Conference is Spain’s largest cannabis B2B event and this year’s installment came at a very crucial time for cannabis policy in Spain, as well as for cannabis policy at the continental level. Lawmakers and regulators in Spain are working harder than ever to pass meaningful legislation that will help Spain’s emerging cannabis industry reach its full potential. The same can also be said about many other parts of Europe right now.

With that in mind, it was tremendously beneficial to bring not only leaders from throughout Spain to one venue to network and discuss cannabis policy, but also leaders from other nations that are either working towards the same end goal as Spain or are farther along in the process and were able to impart their wisdom. Those leaders were able to network with each other and additionally were able to network with industry members, which is important for a multitude of reasons.

Cannabis policy reform is still a relatively new phenomenon at the international level and the global cannabis ecosystem is still largely a patchwork of laws, rules, and regulations, and that patchwork extends to efforts to reform and improve current public policies. The saying, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ is as applicable to global cannabis efforts as anything you will ever find, so seeing leaders from all sectors of society (law, government, industry, activism) networking with each other was very encouraging and uplifting.

The International Cannabis Business Conference’s next event will be in Berlin in June. Buy your tickets today before prices go up!

International Cannabis Business Conference Barcelona 2023

As is always the case, the curriculum at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Barcelona was packed with world-class speakers who are all global leaders in their particular fields. We will be publishing videos of the panel discussions on the event’s YouTube channel, so make sure to check them out in the near future.

Below is a small sampling of photos from some of the many insightful panel discussions that took place at the 2023 International Cannabis Business Conference Barcelona B2B event:

International Cannabis Business Conference Barcelona 2023

No International Cannabis Business Conference event would be complete without an epic after-party, and this year’s event in Barcelona was no exception.

Below is a sampling of pictures demonstrating the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality that makes the International Cannabis Business Conference’s events so special:

barcelona, Europe, Spain

cannabis bud leaf plant

Spain To Quadruple Legal Medical Cannabis Production This Year

Late last month lawmakers in Spain considered a cannabis reform measure, and while the measure did not pass, Spain’s emerging legal cannabis industry will undergo a fairly substantial expansion this year regardless. The Spanish Medicines Agency recently notified the International Narcotics Control Board that it plans to (roughly) quadruple the amount of legal medical cannabis grown within its borders.

As verified by Público, Spain’s Ministry of Health “has forecast a production of 23.43 tons of medical cannabis in Spain this year.” As required by international agreements, Spain has to notify the International Narcotics Board of the United Nations every year regarding how much domestic medical cannabis it projects it will produce. This year’s notification from Spain is obviously a considerable increase compared to last year.

Why It’s Not Enough

For some historical context, consider that in 2019 and 2020 Spain reported to the International Narcotics Board that it would cultivate 500 kilos each year. That figure increased in 2021 to a reported 600 kilos. The following year in 2020 the figure grew exponentially to a reported 6,000 kilos. This year’s reported forecast of 23.43 tons compared to just two years ago highlights how fast Spain’s medical cannabis industry is expanding. And yet, it’s not enough. Not even close.

The boost in cannabis production in Spain will benefit exports and research, however, it’s not going to help Spain’s regulated domestic medical cannabis industry being that Spain doesn’t really have one, at least not compared to many other nations. As pointed out by Público, only two medical cannabis pharmaceutical products are authorized in Spain right now (Sativex and Epidiolex).

As such, most patients rely on the unregulated market to source their medical cannabis products, including from unregulated clubs that operate in a ‘grey area’ of the law. Spain doesn’t just need a boost in domestic medical cannabis production – it also needs to reform its laws to embrace and develop the domestic medical cannabis industry in a way that helps as many patients as possible.

A Boost For Reform Efforts

Increasing domestic medical cannabis production in Spain is generally a good thing. If it helps suffering patients abroad via direct access to medical cannabis, that is still beneficial, and if it contributes to groundbreaking research that helps suffering patients around the world, that is also beneficial. With that being said, clearly, there is still a lot more that can and should be done.

Fortunately, Spain is about to receive a boost for reform efforts via the world’s largest cannabis super-event that starts later this week. On March 9th policymakers, industry leaders, and cannabis advocates from all over the globe will descend on Barcelona, first for the International Cannabis Business Conference (March 9th), and then for Spannabis (March 10th-12th). A limited number of tickets are still available for both events.

The two events have once again teamed up to create an opportunity for thought leaders from around the world to discuss cannabis policy inside and outside of Spain. Whenever the world’s smartest cannabis brains get together amazing things happen, and this month in Barcelona will be no exception.


europe flags european

March 2023 Is Set To Be A Historic Month For European Cannabis

The next 32 days on the European continent could prove to be one of the most historic stretches of time for cannabis public policy and the continent’s emerging legal cannabis industry. Starting tomorrow, Malta’s government will begin accepting applications for non-profit cannabis clubs.

It’s a major milestone not just for Malta, which is the only country in Europe to pass a national adult-use legalization measure, but it’s also a major milestone for the greater European industry being that Malta is the first nation in Europe to set up this kind of national adult-use licensing system. It will be very interesting to see how many applications Malta receives next month.

Malta is not the only nation set to experience a historic March 2023. As every global cannabis observer already knows, lawmakers in Germany have worked very hard to make good on their coalition agreement component relating to legalizing cannabis for adult use and implementing a regulated adult-use industry.

Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach made a formal presentation of a legalization plan back in October 2022 and has since lobbied the European Union for its permission to proceed with an official introduction of a legalization measure.

What some observers seem to have overlooked, or perhaps forgotten about, is that roughly a month ago Minister Lauterbach reportedly confirmed a timetable for a formal introduction of a legalization measure and indicated at the time that he had ‘no reason to doubt’ that a legalization measure would be introduced ‘in the first quarter of this year.’

With February drawing to a close that puts the German adult-use legalization bullseye squarely on the month of March. Whether or not Minister Lauterbach’s reported timeline proves to be accurate or not is something that time will have to determine, although, there have been no meaningful setbacks reported from what I can tell as of the posting of this article.

Additionally, cannabis enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and industry service providers are set to flock to Barcelona, Spain in March as part of the world’s largest super-event collaboration. The International Cannabis Business Conference has once again partnered with Spannabis, Europe’s top cannabis expo, to form another super-event that is a must-attend for anyone that is serious about succeeding in the emerging cannabis industry.

The International Cannabis Business Conference will host Spain’s largest cannabis B2B event on March 9th at the L’Auditori de Cornellà, with the after-party being held at the Hotel Arts (Ritz-Carleton) Barcelona. Spannabis will follow on March 10-12th at Fira de Cornellà. The super-event is the first large cannabis conference collaboration of the year. Whenever thousands of cannabis supporters get together and network good things happen, and that will surely be the case in Barcelona next month.

Cannabis policy and industry in Europe are both at pivotal points, and being that a legal industry cannot come into existence without reform occurring first, the two are directly tied to each other. If Germany does witness the formal introduction of an adult-use legalization measure next month, it will likely set off a wave of similar political activity in other parts of Europe and that will be good news for the continent’s emerging industry.

The same goes for Malta’s cannabis club application rollout. If Malta can successfully gather, review, and approve non-profit cannabis club applications, it will have set up a bureaucratic blueprint for other nations to copy. It’s nuanced but very significant.

We will all have to wait and see what happens for cannabis in Europe in March while doing our best to temper our excitement and expectations.

Germany, malta, Spain

Madrid Spain sunset

A Missed Opportunity In Spain

Yesterday was a potentially big day for cannabis policy reform in Spain, however, a bill that would have set up long-needed medical and adult-use regulations failed to pass in Parliament on Tuesday. For now, the status quo remains.

As we have reported several times in recent months, Spain’s emerging cannabis industry is in desperate need of reform in order to reach its full potential. Reform would, in turn, help consumers and patients across the country.

Unfortunately, that will not happen in the immediate future, although the fight to reform Spain’s cannabis laws is far from over. Still, yesterday’s vote was indeed unfortunate, with blame being warranted towards those that voted in support of prohibition. Per Noticias Sin (translated to English):

A comprehensive legalization of cannabis, both for therapeutic and recreational use , was rejected this Tuesday in the Spanish Parliament.

The socialist party PSOE, which is part of the coalition government in Spain with the left-wing formation United We Can, was one of those who voted against it , along with part of the right-wing opposition.

His partner in the Executive supported the initiative along with other leftist forces or formations such as the liberals of Ciudadanos, in their vote in the Congress or lower house of the Spanish Parliament.

Yesterday’s vote was definitely a missed opportunity, however, cannabis advocates will never give up. Hopefully certain reasonable tweaks can be made to proposed legislation in order to get it to the finish line.

Meanwhile, the unregulated market continues to thrive in Spain. Cannabis laws may not be as bad in Spain as they are in other countries, yet even lukewarm prohibition is still prohibition, and as long as people are being harmed by Spanish prohibition there will always be a need for reform.


spain flag

Lawmakers In Spain To Debate Cannabis Regulation On Tuesday

When it comes to cannabis reform efforts there are various speeds at which jurisdictions move, ranging from a rapid pace like we saw in Thailand in the last couple of years all the way to places like China where cannabis prohibition is clung to at all costs and they are seemingly somehow finding new ways to ramp up prohibition efforts.

Somewhere in between on the spectrum is Spain. As with many other things, Spain moves at its own pace when it comes to cannabis reform. Medical cannabis is legal in Spain, however, current licenses are geared towards research and exports.

Adult-use cannabis is quasi-legal in private settings in Spain, which has created a loophole of sorts that private cannabis clubs take advantage of. What Spain truly needs is domestic cannabis regulations to take away the uncertainty and help Spain’s emerging cannabis industry reach its full potential.

Fortunately, lawmakers in Spain are considering such reform, with a debate scheduled for tomorrow. The measure being considered would reportedly go beyond medical cannabis regulations. Per Infosalus (translated to English):

The Plenary of the Congress of Deputies will debate this Tuesday the Proposal for a Law of Esquerra Republicana (ERC) to regulate cannabis in an “integral” way, that is, both its therapeutic and recreational use.

One of the objectives of the Law, which ERC presented at a press conference in September 2021, is to “decriminalize” cannabis and consider it a medicine that can be accessed with a prescription.

In this way, the consumption of marijuana would be legalized in places where tobacco smoking is allowed, this would include the ability to consume cannabis outdoors and on private property.

The measure would permit for the cultivation of up to six plants within an adult residence, with a reported limit of ‘producing up to 480 grams per year.’ For context, one harvested plant cultivated using advanced techniques can yield more than 480 grams of dried cannabis flower.

Additionally, the measure would mandate that certain funds be earmarked for ‘resources to combat addiction’ and to ‘increase the awareness of the negative effects of cannabis.’ Hopefully people in Spain are already aware of the harms of prohibition, and continue to demand a more sensible approach to cannabis policy in Spain.


marsaxlokk malta

Will Malta’s Cannabis Club Model Be Adopted By Germany And Spain?

In many ways the European continent seems like it is on the cusp of hitting warp speed for cannabis policy reform, and if so, a potential rapid spread of the legal cannabis industry could be on the horizon. The most noteworthy evidence of this can be found in Germany right now, where an adult-use legalization measure is expected to be introduced in the first quarter of this year. Once the measure is formally introduced in Germany it will likely be followed by similar measures being introduced in other European countries. Malta may not have as much political clout as Germany, however, its approach to cannabis clubs and adult-use regulation will also likely have a large butterfly effect on its continental peers whether people realize it or not.

In late 2021 lawmakers in Malta passed an adult-use cannabis legalization measure. It was the first time since the start of cannabis prohibition that a European country passed a national cannabis legalization measure that did not involve any limits on THC content for consumers over 21 years old. Only two other countries on the planet passed such measures prior to Malta doing so (Uruguay and Canada). Malta’s legalization model involves allowing people of legal age (18 or older) to possess up to seven grams of cannabis and for adult households to cultivate up to four plants per residence. Consumers that do not cultivate their own cannabis will eventually be able to make purchases at non-profit cannabis clubs, and the proposed approach to regulating cannabis commerce in Malta via non-profit clubs could become a blueprint for other European countries to copy in the near future.

The Malta Model

Starting on February 28, 2023, aspiring non-profit cannabis club operators can apply for a license through Malta’s Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC). Regulations for such clubs include (but are not limited to):

  • A maximum of 500 club members
  • Cannot be located within 250 meters of a school or ‘youth center’
  • No advertising
  • Cannot use the word ‘cannabis’ in the club’s name, or anything that would ‘incite use’
  • At least two club founders with no prior convictions of money laundering
  • Clubs must have a legal representative
  • Club administrators have to be residents for at least 5 years
  • All cannabis has to be cultivated by the club itself (out of public view)
  • Registration fee of €1,000
  • License fee starting at €8,750
  • Initial licenses valid for 1 year, with 3 year renewals
  • Labeling requirements
  • Ongoing government auditing
  • Product testing
  • THC percentage caps for consumers 18-20 years old
  • Consumers can only have a membership at 1 club at a time
  • Revenue dispersal requirements

It still appears to be up in the air as to whether people will be able to consume cannabis on-site at the cannabis clubs, and while the current rules are fairly extensive, it’s always possible that they could evolve over time. After all, these new rules and regulations in Malta are brand new to the world by many measures, and there will no doubt be a need to tweak things as time goes on.

Will Germany And Spain Adopt Malta’s Approach?

Now that Malta is rolling out its legal cannabis commerce model, two countries that are of particular interest to me from a cannabis public policy standpoint are Germany and Spain, as they seem to be the European countries that will benefit the most from a ‘Malta butterfly effect.’ Make no mistake – Germany is on its own path towards legalization, and regardless of what is going on in Malta, the process for German legalization will continue. However, whether Germany will eventually have cannabis clubs and/or allow social use is unclear at this time, and it’s feasible that a successful rollout of clubs in Malta could encourage Germany to incorporate aspects of Malta’s legalization model as it pertains to those types of entities.

Spain, in my opinion, is much more likely to experience a cannabis public policy butterfly effect from what is going on in Malta compared to Germany. Spain is already home to numerous private cannabis clubs, albeit unregulated ones, and so it’s much more of an apples-to-apples comparison. Many, if not all, of the non-profit club provisions that are being adopted in Malta could also be adopted in Spain if lawmakers were willing to make it happen. Malta has quite literally provided Spain with a blueprint of how to regulate non-profit cannabis clubs. Of course, enough time will need to go by in order to know that the current regulations are sensible, but Malta’s approach is already better than Spain’s in that a formalized approach actually exists and is being implemented.

Malta may not have a huge economy or enormous population, yet, its approach to regulating cannabis commerce is historic in many ways, and the significance of the approach cannot be overstated. Being the first country on a continent to regulate adult-use cannabis commerce at a national level is not easy. After all, there is no guidebook for such an endeavor other than what has gone on in Uruguay and Canada, and even strategies from those countries aren’t always applicable on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. A successful launch in Malta would be a win not just for consumers within Malta’s borders, but also potentially for consumers across the European continent.

Germany, malta, Spain


Media And Marketing In The Emerging International Cannabis Industry

Nearly every business in every industry on the planet needs to market their products and/or services to some degree in order to succeed. After all, how else would potential consumers and clients know about the business’ offerings?

When it comes to marketing, not all industries are created equal, with the emerging legal cannabis industry being a prime example. Whereas in other industries marketing strategies are only limited by financial resources and creativity, the emerging cannabis industry has additional hurdles and factors to consider due to ongoing cannabis prohibition in many jurisdictions.

Even in some legal jurisdictions where cannabis commerce is permitted, cannabis advertising and marketing rules and regulations are such that strategies can be very complicated and limited. It makes it much more difficult to make an impact from a branding perspective.

Furthermore, media and public relations efforts are also complicated for cannabis companies. Mainstream media has historically served as one of the top opponents for all things cannabis, and while that is slowly changing, generating positive media coverage that adds real value to a brand can be trickier for cannabis companies compared to companies operating in other industries. Meanwhile, cannabis-specific media continues to rise across the globe, and there are important nuances that are vital to know when corresponding with cannabis media and mainstream media outlets.

All of that is compounded by the rapidly changing landscape of the emerging cannabis industry, especially at the international level, in addition to the industry becoming increasingly more crowded with every passing year. Crafting and pursuing the right media and marketing strategy is paramount for every international cannabis company. It will be the difference between a company becoming a global powerhouse or folding.

The best way to learn how to craft a solid media and marketing strategy is to hear from true experts that have a proven track record of doing it, and opportunities like that do not pop up very often. Fortunately, the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Barcelona will have a panel dedicated to the topic. The ‘Media and Marketing in the Cannabis Space’ panel will be moderated by Shane MacGuill, head of nicotine and cannabis research for Euromonitor International. MacGuill will be joined by:

  • Michael Knodt, freelance journalist
  • Simón Espinosa, CEO and founder, EN VOLÁ
  • Luna Stower, Chief Impact Officer, ISpire
  • Stephen Verbeek, President and CEO, Hello Cannabis

ICBC events are attended by cannabis leaders from dozens of different countries, with the Barcelona B2B trade show serving as the first major international cannabis event of its type for 2023. The conference itself will be held at the L’Auditori de Cornellà, with the after-party being held at the Hotel Arts (Ritz-Carleton) Barcelona. You can view the event’s schedule at this link here. If you want to network with the best in the cannabis space, ICBC Barcelona is a must-attend.

Spain is home to arguably the best cannabis culture on earth, with 70% of Spain’s cannabis clubs being in Barcelona. Roughly 90% of Spain voters support medical cannabis according to a recent survey by the Center for Sociological Research. Home to roughly 4 million regular cannabis consumers, 56% of residents in Spain support legalizing regulated cannabis sales to adults (18 or older). The current value of Spain’s cannabis industry is estimated to be €3.3 billion (£2.81bn) per year.

Over 1,000 people from over 40 countries will be represented at the super-event this March in Barcelona and that includes representatives from every sector of the industry as well as leading international cannabis policymakers and industry service providers. Attend the super-event in Barcelona to network with investors, entrepreneurs, industry regulators, and international policymakers and take your industry pursuits to the next level.

The International Cannabis Business Conference also has additional upcoming events in Berlin in June 2023. You can secure tickets now and take advantage of the early bird pricing discount.


About the International Cannabis Business Conference

The International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin is Europe’s longest running and largest industry B2B tradeshow and conference. For more information, including how to register for ICBC Barcelona, Berlin, and Zurich, please visit: Find out more on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

For more information or media inquiries, please email or call 541.864.0090.

barcelona, Spain

stethescope doctor medical hospital

Spain Study Determines Long-Term Cannabis Use Not Significantly Detrimental To Health

Are you someone that has consumed cannabis on a regular basis for a long time? Do you feel relatively healthy? If so, then you probably roll your eyes every time that you come across media coverage involving claims from cannabis opponents that ‘cannabis is bad for your health.’

The fact of the matter is that humans can regularly consume cannabis for a majority of their lives and not experience any significant health issues due to the cannabis use. In the case of medical cannabis patients and people that use cannabis for wellness purposes,  cannabis helps improve their overall health.

The evidence backing up the claim that long-term cannabis use does not significantly impact overall health in a negative way is not just anecdotal. The claim is backed up by a recent study out of Spain, with more information located below via a news release from NORML:

Barcelona, Spain: Adults who regularly consume cannabis products do not report significant differences in their overall health as compared to the general public, according to data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Spanish investigators surveyed a representative sample of regular cannabis consumers on a variety of questions specific to their daily activities and perceived overall health. Their responses were compared to previously compiled data provided by the general public.

Cannabis consumers were more likely than members of the general public to report walking at least ten minutes per day (76 percent to 70 percent), and they were more likely to positively perceive their own health (88 percent to 82 percent). Consumers were also less likely to report having issues with their cholesterol and blood pressure. Consumers were more likely than those in the general population to report experiencing problems sleeping.

One in four respondents reported reducing their need for medical interventions since using cannabis, and nearly one-third acknowledged reducing their use of prescription medications – a finding that is consistent with prior studies.

Authors reported: “In this study, long-term users of cannabis scored in a similar way as the general population on a list of health indicators. These results were obtained using validated health indicators, especially designed and used by several governments to assess population health and compare this information between countries or specific populations. There was only one indicator associated with poorer health among cannabis users: sleep problems.”

They concluded: “[T]hese findings suggest that long-term cannabis use might not play a central role in terms of public health. … We suggest inclusion of cannabis-related items in national surveys of health as they would provide valuable data to support the progress of public debates regarding its regulation.”

Full text of the study, “Cannabis and public health: A study assessing regular cannabis users through health indicators,” appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.


Madrid Spain sunset

What’s Really Going On With Cannabis In Spain?

Cannabis consumers and patients live in some truly amazing times in many parts of the world thanks to the tireless efforts of cannabis activists in those jurisdictions. The hard work and sacrifice of activists has helped topple cannabis prohibition policies in many areas across the globe, and consumers and patients are benefitting from freedoms that should have never been taken away in the first place.

When it comes to the consumer experience in particular, Spain likely tops the list of ‘best places on earth to consume cannabis.’ Part of that is due to the quality of cannabis that can be fairly easy to obtain in many cities in Spain, particularly in Barcelona. The Moroccan hash that is for sale at nearly every reputable club in Barcelona is as good or better than anything you will find anywhere else on earth, other than in Morocco, obviously.

The other major factor contributing to Spain’s unparalleled consumer experience is the nation’s clubs. When most people outside of Spain think of the nation’s cannabis scene, clubs are likely the first thing that comes to mind, and rightfully so. Whereas cannabis communities in many other countries are just starting to explore the concept of social cannabis use, Spain seems to have already largely perfected it.

Very few things yield as much of a ‘fear of missing out’ reaction from cannabis enthusiasts as seeing images and videos from a Spanish club on a busy day. To say that it looks like everyone is having a good time is a major understatement.

With all of that being said, Spain still has a lot of roadblocks and hurdles to overcome on the public policy side of the equation, as there’s a fairly substantial disconnect between the nation’s cannabis policies and the reality of what is actually occurring on the ground.

That disconnect can make it tough to know what is really going on in Spain right now, and equally important, where things are likely headed in the near future. To get the real scoop we reached out to Bernardo Soriano Guzmán of S & F Abogados. S & F Abogados is Spain’s leading law firm specializing in cannabis.

Bernardo explained that there are three fronts in the effort to reform the nation’s cannabis laws in ways that will help ensure that the nation’s industry will thrive – adult-use cannabis, medicinal cannabis, and industrial cannabis.

“During this legislative term, four laws have been presented in the Congress and Senate to regulate adult-use cannabis. One of them has been drafted by S&F Lawyers along with other collaborators. A law that fully regulates the production and distribution cycle of cannabis and non-psychoactive cannabis.” Bernardo Soriano Guzmán explained.

“Despite this intense legislative activity, none of the laws currently have the necessary majority for approval. So, without a doubt, this electoral year that we begin, the regulation of cannabis will be an important point in the political programs and possible electoral alliances for the formation of the next government of Spain, as has happened in Germany in 2021 with the coalition of the traffic light.” he went on to say.

” Last year 2021, a resolution in the form of a report of conclusions was approved in the Congress of Spain to give access to patients of medicinal cannabis. This report is pending to be implemented once the Spanish Medicines and Health Products Agency (AEMPS) proposes how to do it. The regulation proposed is quite restricted to strictly pharmaceutical channels, with flowers of cannabis not having a predominant role, rather finished products and magistral formulas.” Bernardo stated in regards to medical cannabis in Spain.

“Self-cultivation for medicinal use is also not allowed. Additionally in Spain for years licenses for research and production of medicinal cannabis have been granted, a total of 21 licenses having been granted to date December 2022.” he concluded about current medical cannabis policy and regulations in Spain.

“The position of the Spanish authorities is very restrictive beyond the classic industrial uses of hemp (production of fiber and seeds). The use of hemp flowers is prohibited, even for the extraction of unregulated cannabinoids (Cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannabidiol…).” Guzmán stated about industrial cannabis in Spain.

“This situation has generated a multitude of proceedings in the courts that have made the Supreme Court recently confirm in a ruling the restrictive vision of the Spanish authorities. This situation clashes quite with the wave of positive changes regarding hemp that are taking place in Europe, especially as a result of the position of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Countries such as France which recently, in a completely contrary line to that of the Spanish authorities, has finally authorized the use of hemp flowers for all uses.” he concluded.

Bernardo Soriano Guzmán will serve as the moderator for the ‘Squaring The Circle Of Industrial Hemp In Spain’ panel at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Barcelona, taking place on March 9th as part of a super-event collaboration with Spannabis.

Early bird ticket pricing expires on February 15th.

barcelona, Spain

spain flag

What Are The Top Cannabis Companies In Spain?

Spain’s cannabis community is second to none in many ways, and its current industry model is very unique. Unfortunately, public cannabis policy in Spain is not as advanced as it needs to be for the nation’s emerging industry to reach its full potential.

However, there are still several cannabis companies operating in Spain right now that are true global industry leaders. As the legal industry continues to spread across the planet cannabis enthusiasts and observers need to keep the company names below on their radars.


When you are talking about the cannabis scene in Spain, or Europe for that matter, Spannabis should always be at the top of the list. Spannabis is the world’s largest cannabis gathering, and once again will be partnering with the International Cannabis Business Conference, Spain’s largest cannabis B2B conference, to put on a super-event in Barcelona in March that is a must-attend.


Dinafem Seeds is a cannabis seed bank based in Donostia, Gipuzkoa that provides one of the best selections of cannabis genetics available on the market, including many award-winning cannabis genetics. Per the company’s disclaimer on their website, they “refuse to sell cannabis seeds to anyone who we believe is going to use them to grow cannabis in countries where it is illegal,” so keep that in mind.


Plantasur is a B2B wholesale distribution company that supplies brick and mortar storefronts, online grow stores, and other companies in the cannabis industry. With over 5,000 products offered, Plantasur provides many of the most important cannabis cultivation and consumption gadgets in the space today.

Delicious Seeds

Delicious Seeds was established in 2009 and describes themselves as defending “a harmonious growth process, based on the values of equality, efficiency and transparency.” The company’s staff is highly qualified and can advise aspiring cultivators of all skill levels on any questions that may arise with free and personalized attention.


Hortitec specializes in B2B crop product distribution for technical horticulture. The company has multiple offices in Spain, and is committed to professionalism, quality, sustainability and investment in technology, always seeking continual improvement to offer the best products and services to their customers.

Kannabia Seed Company

Kannabia was originally founded in 2008 and per their website, “is dedicated to cannabis seed growers and marijuana.” The company was influenced by the concerns and suggestions of cannabis cultivators and they have spent years developing systems that ensure the optimal development of the genetics that they offer.


One of the most iconic cannabis brands in Spain is a company named Smoking. The rolling paper company was first founded in 1879 and products are currently manufactured by Miquel y Costas in Barcelona. According to the company’s website, they were one of the earliest factories to ever produce rolling papers.

Canamo Magazine

Spain is home to several insightful and entertaining cannabis media outlets, with one of the best of them being Canamo Magazine. The media outlet offers both print and digital content, including content related to news, culture, and cultivation.


Alchemia Grow Shop was inaugurated in April 2001 in a small store in the heart of Figueres. The company has since increased in size and influence and now offers over 6,000 items for sale, involving more than 1,500 strains and 63 seed banks, including Philosopher Seeds, their own seed bank created in 2008 to share their best genetics with clients and friends.


Cannabis regulation in Spain

Will Barcelona’s Cannabis Industry Reach Its Full Potential?

Barcelona, Spain is the social cannabis use capital of the world. Home to hundreds of cannabis lounges and clubs, Barcelona’s cannabis community and consumer experience is unique in every way. Unfortunately, the public policies in Spain pertaining to such establishments do not currently align with reality, with many lawmakers and regulators choosing to stick their heads in the sand and act as if Barcelona’s emerging industry doesn’t exist.

That approach by many lawmakers and regulators does a huge disservice to not only people involved in the cannabis trade, but also the rest of society which would benefit from a regulated industry. Just as the adult-use cannabis industry is generating a significant economic impact in Canada, so too could it do the same in Spain, particularly in Barcelona.

Generating Jobs and Tax Revenue

Every member of a society benefits from a boost in the economy to some degree, particularly when that boost comes from afar. When cannabis enthusiasts travel to an area to partake in cannabis commerce, they need rides to and from lounges, they eat and shop in the area, and they pay for lodging, among many other things. The larger the tourist population, the more local people benefit from the increased commerce.

In Barcelona, all the cannabis consumption at clubs and lounges occurs in private settings, so the mere activity of consuming cannabis is not a nuisance, and thus, the economic boost is clearly a net gain to the region. Cannabis tourism generates jobs, and if the industry is regulated, it also generates taxes and fees that go to public coffers, which is one of the many reasons why Spain should be embracing Barcelona’s clubs and lounges instead of making them operate in limbo. Additionally, society benefits from no longer having public revenue earmarked for enforcing failed public policy (cannabis prohibition).

How to Address the Issue?

Ultimately, it is up to lawmakers in Spain to pass comprehensive cannabis reform at the national level in order to get Barcelona’s emerging cannabis industry built on a solid legal foundation. Local leaders in Barcelona previously adopted a limited regulatory model for cannabis clubs just to see the policy later thrown out by the nation’s top Court, so there’s likely nothing meaningful that can be done at the local level.

Public pressure must reach a critical mass to hold lawmakers accountable when they drag their feet on cannabis reform, and if they will still refrain from taking meaningful action, they need to be replaced with people that will act. Any pressure campaign must involve a heavy dose of public education to combat any misinformation being spread by opponents, and to help convince people that are on the fence about the issue to get on the right side of history.

Leaders Coming Together

Barcelona’s rich cannabis history and culture makes it once again the perfect backdrop to the International Cannabis Business Conference trade show, taking place March 9, 2023. Cannabis policymakers and industry leaders from all over the globe will be in attendance, and one of the major focuses of the conference will be how to move Spain’s industry forward.

The International Cannabis Business Conference is the leading cannabis business to business (B2B) event series on the planet, with previous conferences occurring in several countries on multiple continents. The event series is owned and operated by cannabis advocates that believe in celebrating cannabis culture, in addition to providing world-class cannabis industry education and networking opportunities.

The International Cannabis Business Conference has once again partnered with Spannabis, Europe’s top cannabis expo, to form another super-event that is a must-attend for anyone that is serious about succeeding in the emerging cannabis industry. Spannabis originally teamed up with the International Cannabis Business Conference in 2019, and the collaboration was a tremendous success. The 2023 super-event will be bigger and better than ever, with the collaboration event being the largest of its kind. Participating speakers and an event schedule will be announced soon.

Could Malta Help Move the Needle?

One thing that will be interesting to observe is what is currently unfolding in Malta. Malta passed a national adult-use legalization measure late last year, making it the first country in Europe to do so.

The measure was largely built on the premise of consumers obtaining their cannabis from non-profit cannabis clubs. The only other way for adults to obtain cannabis is to cultivate it themselves or to be gifted it.

It is unclear right now how long it will be after applications are initially collected before the first regulated club is opened, however, things do seem to be moving along. Once Malta officially rolls out its cannabis club licenses and sets up all the processes and regulations pertaining to it, it will have created a blueprint for other countries to mimic, including and especially Spain.

barcelona, Spain

International Cannabis Business Conference



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