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First Cannabis Patient Makes Bid For Home Grow In Spain

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A 49-year-old male patient has made his application for medical home grow to the Spanish Medicines Agency public

Juan Manuel Rodriguez, a Gen X Spanish citizen, has just made his application for a cannabis home grow license to the Spanish Medicines Agency public. Rodriquez has been confined to a wheelchair for thirty years after a tragic accident when he was 19.

He is making his legal claim under the 1967 Spanish law (in other words a pre-constitutional law) which allows for the use of medical cannabis if specifically authorized by the federal drugs and medical devices agency.

The plea could not come at a more contentious time.

The Situation in Spain

Much like the Dutch market, the Spanish cannabis club environment has developed within the grey areas of national law. The most recent high-profile case in court, filed by activist Albert Tió, at the European level, went down in flames last month. In the meantime, the club scene is caught in disarray because of the Pandemic domestically. And beyond Spanish borders the issue of regulation is also moving in several European countries (see Holland, as of next year, both Luxembourg and Switzerland).

The activists on the ground know there is an opening – and are continuing to support legal challenges and applications of all sorts – including Rodriguez’ – and presumably those who will follow suit.

The application may finally be the tipping case to move the entire conversation forward – but it also may not. While severely disabled patients usually have a good case to make – and have often moved the needle (see Germany as a prime example of the same on a European level) – it is most often not adults but children who manage to put enough political pressure on governments to change the law. See the UK, but also see Israel where, in 2014, enough parents threatened to immigrate to the American state of Colorado that the Israeli government changed its policies within weeks.

That is not likely to be the case in Spain. However, what is clear is that the status quo is increasingly being challenged by individuals who obviously have a medical and economic need. 

Even in Spain in other words, prohibition is dying a death of a thousand cuts – one challenge at a time.

Be sure to book your tickets to the International Cannabis Business Conference events in Europe in 2021!