After visiting Barcelona for Spannabis 2019 I travelled down to Pinoso, a mountain town located about 40 minutes from Ali Cante near the South East Coast of Spain.
The reason for my trip was to spend some time with The Original Alternative Cannabis Club who are based in the area. This English-run club was set up by Andrew, a good friend and director of CBD Brothers who have been making waves in the CBD market for some years in the UK, before expanding to Spain and Guernsey in recent years.
The Original Alternative Private Member’s Club opened its doors in 2019 and provides access for members to locally-sourced good quality cannabis with a focus on understanding the cannabinoids within. On the shelves of The Original Alternative, you will likely find a whole range of balances, from the traditional mostly THC, to 1:1 ratio strains and even some high CBD low THC varieties.
There is also information about specific cannabinoids and terpenes up on the wall for members to read. This sort of info gives the club an educational feel, which I really like.
This is reflected in the club membership, which consists of people from all ages and includes plenty of members who you’d never see in most Dutch coffeeshops, or touristy BCN cannabis clubs – patrons include many older members, and older couples, for example, are also welcome (and likely to pop by during your visit). Speaking to the founder, it is not uncommon for members to be introduced to the club after hearing about how cannabis can help their condition.
And this extra-welcoming feel makes The Original Alternative a refreshing place to visit.
The club has been purpose-built in what looks like the middle of an almond farm – there are almond trees flowering all around and mountains covering the landscape in the distance. Pinoso itself is a picturesque location – set 1450 feet above sea level, just driving there feels like you are journeying up into the mountains!
The venue can hold around 30 people inside, and also has a lovely outdoor area including a terrace – while I was visiting they were hosting a members’ event and had also built a stage outside next to their fire pit. They have just finished building a shower attached to the back of the club which allows you to take a shower outside with a mountainous backdrop; apparently, I was the first to try it!
Hot and Cold drinks are served for members, including vegan options and UK-allergy trained staff, plus they offer food and sometimes have a vegan chef on site for events. I had lovely food throughout my time with the Original Alternative, which was much needed after a weekend of the junk food I’d been buying on my way to and from Spannabis.
The staff in The Original Alternative are lovely – and that is not just because I know them personally. I spent some time watching how they interact with members who have no club connection and are all treated with respect and given all the time and information they need to get the right cannabis strains for them.
Being outside of Barcelona, The Original Alternative offers a chilled, friendly vibe, different from what I have found in other clubs. While all have been friendly, The Original Alternative hosted me and several others for days, including times they were closed. They also went out of their way to make us feel welcome the whole time.
Strains on offer included options like Blue Dream CBD, a 1:0.8 ratio strain which still captures that lovely Blue Dream flavour, Purple Punch, a purple-tasting strain harking back to its Grandaddy Purple heritage, Honey Boo Boo, a sweet indica, and Purple Kush, a more heavy-hitting indica. As well as sampling these strains and more, I got to meet some of the growers to talk about their philosophies around growing and the Spanish model. Highlights from my smoking and dabbing at The Original Alternative include Zkittles and Watermelon ZKittles live sauce by Team Flavour Hunting ES.
Whether you’re tempted to book a trip based on my experience, or you’re a frequent visitor to our Spanish neighbours, I’d say this club would be particularly suitable for people travelling near Ali Cante that enjoy cannabis but may be on holiday with family, or just want to come out somewhere where they can have a relaxing time and smoke good weed. The historic town will offer some things to do, but they will be limited when compared to a City.
I spent 3 days on location with the club and slept in a local Air BNB, so I didn’t do much scenery spotting. In fact, I got some much-needed relaxation and recharged my batteries before heading back to the UK and more filming projects, which was perfect after a hectic weekend at Spannabis.
For those wondering about the Spanish cannabis clubs model, there are now over twice the number of cannabis clubs in Spain as there are coffeeshops in The Netherlands. The difference? For most of the Spanish clubs, you’ll need to contact them first and make sure it is ok to attend. Technically, the Spanish law requires a referral, but visiting Spain 3 times in 3 years we have never had an issue with this (you can try messaging in advance if you are unsure).
With Weedmaps now active in Spain, you can also search and find out where clubs are located in relation to where you are staying (that goes for Spain and the Spanish islands).
Thanks to Drew, Jo and everybody at The Original Alternative who hosted me for a few days. I look forward to visiting again soon!
You can watch our footage from The Original Alternative Cannabis Cub below, or on our YouTube channel:
Note: The Original Alternative Cannabis Club has now closed