Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Spain's Cannabis Social Clubs Struggle to Survive During Covid-19 Pandemic

A slab of Moroccan hash sold at a cannabis club in Barcelona in 2019. (Photo by CelebStoner)

The once bustling cannabis social club scene in Spain has been reduced to delivery only. The website Marijuana Games is reporting that the clubs have lost 60% of their members during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit Spain hard. The European Union country has the sixth-most cases in the world (nearly 1.5 million) and 40,000 deaths since March.

According to a Barcelona club member:

“You can only travel in your own city, people need to be at home at 22:00, and you can’t be moving in the streets from Friday morning until Monday morning. And with a max of six people allowed inside [the club] at a time – including employees – there is almost no social aspect anymore.”

This club owner acknowledges:

“We can survive if we can give our members take-away [services]. But going back to socializing is far better.”

HQ Barcelona cannabis club in 2019 (photo by CelebStoner)

HQ Barcelona owner David Madilyan laments: 

“Right now, we offer only to-go [services]; it’s a game-changer, and not in a positive way. There is no social life, and this is a social club.”  

Another owner says:

"Members are spending less due to the lack of fiscal activity in Barcelona at the moment; it’s a ghost town.”

The 420 Social Club in Barcelona in 2019 (photo by CelebStoner)

And another:

“We don’t accept tourists, so when all of the tourists and visitors went home because of corona, it had no effect on us. And now that other clubs are struggling, the quality of available cannabis has declined, while the price has significantly increased. As a result, we’ve taken on more new members, and they’re spending more than ever before because they don’t have much else to do while on lockdown.” 

Spain's cannabis clubs are not legal, but tolerated by the governent despite prohibition laws on the books. Members can enter the clubs, where sales and consumption take place. The clubs are not advertised and in order to become a member you need to know another member. Fees range from $20-$50. 

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.