The Catalonia Parliament in Spain operates as its own autonomous government, and on Wednesday they decided to regulate a legal, adult-use marijuana market.
This is a decision that was three years in the making, as a resolution was passed before the Parliament in 2014 asking for the government to create regulation for cannabis clubs. However, due to a lack of consensus among working groups, the idea quickly lost steam. It was revived again 2015, when La Rosa Verda collected over 56,000 signatures that prompted the creation of a paper on the subject. Thirty psychologists, sociologists, pharmacologists, doctors and other marijuana experts were involved in creating the paper.
These efforts have resulted in the historic move that we are seeing in Spain now. This is the first measure of its kind in Europe, and will allow for the consumption, cultivation and transport of marijuana. Other European nations like Holland allow for the sale of marijuana, but much of the industry is backed by the black market. What Catalonians want instead is a system that is free from scrutiny by region authorities.
Chairwoman of the Health Commission in Parliament Alba Vergés stated that Parliament “did not want to do something halfway, and that is why growing marijuana is included in the language of this decision.
Cannabis club owners in Catalonia are thrilled at this decision, as it will undoubtedly result in far fewer arrests relating to the possession, cultivation or use of the plant. It also will allow for them to conduct their business completely legitimately, though there are a set of regulations that will be placed before those who wish to obtain membership to one of Catalonia’s cannabis clubs.
- Applicants must wait 15 days after submitting their application before they can partake of the club’s marijuana crop.
- Individuals between 18 and 21 may only purchase up to 20 grams per month, while adults over 21 can purchase up to 60 grams a month.
- The restrictions on how much one can buy over the course of a month do not apply to those who use marijuana for medical reasons.
- Consumption of alcohol will not be allowed in cannabis clubs.
- Marijuana edibles of any kind are not to be permitted.
This change to the law in Catalonia can be challenged by the Spain federal government, but officials are stating quite firmly that they are operating well within their rights to bring an adult-use marijuana market to the region.