Cannabis social clubs are an important part of the legalisation movement here in the UK as they enable cannabis users to organise themselves, network and meet in a smoke-friendly environment. Out in Spain the cannabis clubs are a legal part of society, and this has led to many being set up, particularly in Barcelona.
A couple of weeks ago we interviewed Russ Hudson, an American living in Barcelona who talked about the situation with the country’s cannabis clubs. This week we sat down with Harry, the manager at Remedy, a cannabis club in Barcelona, to give more insight about how things are out there, and what it is like running a cannabis club in Barcelona.
Hi Harry, great to have you here at ISMOKE. Can you tell us a bit about Remedy and when it was formed?
Hi there, glad i can help getting information out there! Essentially we are a Cannabis dispensary, although we have a very personal touch and close-knit vibe with all of our members.
We formed Remedy over the summer of 2015, but we didn’t open to the public until December 2015.
And what is your role within the Cannabis Club?
Well, I have a percentage in the business along with my two other partners but I am also a manager, you could say, within the place during our opening hours.
As you can imagine there are a few meetings here and there with lawyers, accountants and the likes keeping us above board and out of trouble!
We bet! Where are you originally from, and how did you end up running a cannabis club in Barcelona?
Originally I’m From Bromley, UK. but I have spent a major chunk of my life here in the Catalunya region of Spain.
I opened one of the first Barcelona cannabis clubs back in 2012 with a group of four other friends as well, and this was around the time the legislations changed and the whole industry really started to gather momentum and get itself noticed in the eyes of locals as well as foreigners.
We had heard that there were clubs opening in the city, and after a friend of ours opened one as well, we spoke to him and investigated how it was possible and what was needed to open one and pretty much immediately got to it!
So, plenty of experience in the cannabis clubs scene out there then! What does Remedy provide for club members?
We offer a cozy space to chill and meet some new people, as well as our menu of eight to fifteen types of Cannabis, Hash, Edibles and Extracts to choose from and enjoy. We host movie nights, show all the sports on our screens and anybody can throw a tune on the speakers if they want!
Sounds awesome. And what makes the Remedy different from other clubs out there?
As i mentioned before, we try to distinguish ourselves from the other clubs with our small but close-knit group of staff and offer a personalised service tailored to every member’s different needs and wants.
That must keep you busy. How many club members does The Remedy currently have?
Since Christmas 2015 we have had around 3000 members from all across the world come through our doors.
Blimey, that’s more than we were expecting, but shows the popularity of cannabis clubs. We saw some great things on your menu via your website – how often is your menu updated?
Our menu changes pretty much every day. We have around 4-5 strains that are always in stock, then we like to keep it varied for the rest and bring in as many new flavours as we can for our members to experience with us.
Sounds delicious, and we can’t wait to come and visit ourselves. What are cannabis prices like in Barcelona compared to the UK?
Cheeeeeeeeeeap. Not to mention there is so much more variety to choose from.
Have prices gone up or down since cannabis clubs started operating?
To be honest it has pretty much stayed the same since it all began, although with a lot of people coming from outside of Spain to open cannabis clubs without doing the ground work, it opens up an opportunity for people to exploit them, so it depends on which source you are using at a particular time. Time of the year is also a major factor in the prices of Cannabis in the city too.
And how has the quality of the cannabis changed since cannabis clubs were set up?
Although the grade has always been fairly high here, I would say that since the clubs started to proliferate more people are turning to growing as their main source of income, therefore taking it more seriously and improving their skills in a more significant way, which results in a wider array of high grade rather than the best getting better.
That makes sense. What are the laws around growing your own plants out there?
Although growing here is still illegal, you can grow 1-2 plants per person in your own home – you only have to take a walk through the city and look up to see ganja plants drooping off of balconies!
We’ve seen that when we went to Ibiza – cannabis plants on balconies everywhere! Have you had any problems with the police since you have been in operation?
YES, many! During the first couple years of the cannabis club movement the police were very active in trying to stop it all and prevent it moving forward. Although they still are, they no longer really raid places with the frequency or force that they used to. These days they are still against it but are trying to make more financial and architectural restrictions to curb the number of places opening up.
Where do you see Spain’s cannabis laws heading in the future? Will they relax to the point of full legalisation?
I wish i could say…every month it seems the government takes a different stance, and we have been promised regulations since may 2012 but they keep getting postponed to no avail for either the government or us the club owners and members. Regarding legislation Spain is still a very old fashioned country in some respects. I believe regulation would be a miraculous enough achievement in itself.
Interesting insight Harry – If our readers are looking to come out to Spain for a holiday, how would they go about becoming a member?
Great info – do the clubs work together in any way or are they completely separate organisations?
Each club is it’s own separate business. franchising is not yet an option with these kind of establishments just yet.
And finally, have you seen or read about the cannabis clubs currently popping up all over the UK? What is your opinion on it all?
Can’t say that i have, that sounds ballsy seeing the way they go about weed there.
Thanks for stopping by and providing an insight into Barcelona’s Cannabis Clubs Harry!