Spanish Cannabis Reform: A Rumble On The Horizon

Madrid Spain

The entire cannabis conversation has moved forward, dramatically, over the last year in Europe. Where does this leave Spain?

As anyone who has watched the American market, in particular, jolt slowly forward over the last seven years is beginning to see, there are similarities to what is going on in Europe now. Nothing is exactly the same of course, and the reform on the table here is sovereign rather than state. Regardless, there are indeed curious parallels afoot.

Even leaving Switzerland out of this (as it is outside of the EU), Germany has now joined the list of nations to put cannabis reform on its legislative “to do” list along with Portugal, Malta crossed the line and even France has now formalized its CBD market. In this context, the issue of Spanish reform looms large. This is even more true as Holland formalizes its cultivation market nationally and Luxembourg begins to dip its tentative heels into the seed market.

Spain, particularly given the fact that its industry is organized roughly in a cross between what Holland is (coffee shops as the focus of the retail trade but a yet formally legal cultivation network) and what Switzerland is rapidly shaping up to be, is now on the hot seat to begin to formalize this entire discussion. This is even more true given what is about to happen right next door in Portugal.

Where Do Things Stand in Spain?

The issue of reform is even more pressing given the kinds of danger those who run the clubs still face. Albert Tió, the man given credit for kicking off the entire club discussion in Spain, is still serving jail time. Yet those in both Barcelona and the Basque region (the area of the country with the second-highest concentration of clubs), have bravely fought on through the Pandemic to establish a formal industry, not to mention the federal and even EU level reform that must precede it.

Cannabis is technically decriminalized in the country. GMP grade cannabis production is also taking place (four licenses to do so have been issued by the national medication agency here). 

However, the grey zones are rapidly becoming less attractive for an industry that has both survived if not thrived in the Pandemic and further, seen significant progress just over national borders within the same region.

Indeed, both Spain and Greece are front and centre for announcements of further reform, and activists if not the flourishing industry are well aware of the same, not to mention what is afoot in Central and South America. That is why for many their new year’s resolution in 2022 is cannabis reform now, en españa.

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