Cannabis social club

Cannabis Social Club: how to open it?

While in Spain there have been many for several years, in Italy the first Cannabis Social Club was born in 2020, but it is an association that deals with conveying only and exclusively medical cannabis and helps patients to obtain benefits more easily. medications he needs, therefore not a real Cannabis Social Club, which also promotes the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. So what are these clubs and how can we be part of them?

In this article we will try to answer, here's what we will see:

  1. What is a Cannabis Social Club?
  2. How are cannabis social clubs born?
  3. How can you access it?
  4. Be a member of a social club
  5. How is it possible?
  6. Benefits of a social club
  7. How do I open a CSC?
  8. Coffee shop Vs Cannabis Social Club

light cannabis

What is a cannabis social club

From time to time, everyone thinks about how nice it would be to go away , put the important things in some box, give the rest to friends and acquaintances, take a plane and change their lives .

There are those who think of exotic destinations, those who dream of a chiringuito on the beach and those who would like to manage a ski resort away from flip flops and swimsuits. There are also those who dream of moving to a place where they can do their dream job: becoming a licensed cannabis retailer.

Until some time ago this would have been pure science fiction. Only Amsterdam offered the possibility of legally selling cannabis in Europe and 241 coffee shop licenses are already active in the Dutch city alone. It must be said, however, that Holland is not the best place to move to if you are looking for a place in the sun. The climate is uncertain, there is always a lot of wind and the sun constantly comes and goes.

For a few years, Spain has also been added to the list of countries that allow the sale of marijuana , and has activated a widespread distribution network of the substance through the so-called " cannabis social clubs ".

A cannabis social club, often called by its abbreviation CSC , is a non-profit association, which bases its activity on the self-cultivation of cannabis . The main aim of the club is to combat the black market by regulating the consumption of cannabis among members within the club.

The first Cannabis Social Club was born in Spain in 2005 , when someone realized the regulatory void that regulated the consumption of cannabis. In Spain, the consumption of cannabis in public places is prohibited and dealing is prohibited, however there is no legislation that expresses itself regarding the consumption of cannabis in private settings and regarding the quantity of cultivation allowed for personal use.

Precisely on the basis of this absence of precise regulation, together with the right to freedom of association, the CSCs were born, first in Spain, then also in Portugal and Germany .

In fact, these are regularly constituted non-profit associations , with a statute , an internal organization and great openness to dialogue with the authorities, which have the aim of legally satisfying the cannabis needs for personal use of their members.

At this moment cannabis in Italy is once again a topic of discussion, one of the latest proposals for legalization presented to Parliament involves the introduction of the Cannabis Social Club model (also for the use of cannabis for recreational purposes), which It would be well suited to Italian needs.

One could think of opening a CSC with light cannabis but at the moment the legislation is not yet clear in this sense either.

CBD flower

How are cannabis social clubs born?

The first cannabis social clubs in Spain were inaugurated in 2005: they were the challenge of ENCOD, European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies .

Non-governmental organization that had the objective of defining and promoting the development of a regulated model throughout Europe. Non-commercial and reserved exclusively for collective cannabis cultivation adults.

Light cannabis buds

ENCOD sees clubs as the best model for legal cannabis production and distribution . Among the principles of these social clubs are the essential status of a non-profit organization and the production of cannabis limited to the quantity necessary to cover the personal needs of the members.

Cannabis clubs are therefore private clubs, legally authorized to welcome cannabis smokers , as long as they are members of the club . The CSCs are non-profit associations regularly constituted with a statute, an internal organization and maximum openness to dialogue with the Authorities .

How can you access it

As for the first Cannabis Social Club opened in Milan in 2020, it is reserved only for patients in possession of a prescription for medical cannabis , because at the moment it does not include the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.

As for Spanish or Portuguese clubs, the ideal would be to be introduced by a friend. Many clubs have strict entry restrictions , especially for tourists. Temporary domicile in a hotel is not valid, but in some cases domicile in an Airbnb accommodation could be valid. However, precisely to avoid uncontrolled access by tourists, many clubs have a two-week access procedure.

If you're planning to move, you'll have no problem joining a cannabis social club once you're there. If you are going on holiday for a few days, the advice is to write a sincere letter to the CSCs of the areas that interest you . Tell them who you are, what you do, and say that you would like to be able to consume a modest amount of cannabis in their country without turning to the black market.

By activating in time, the answers will not be long in coming.

Be a member of a cannabis social club

Being part of a Cannabis Social Club does not just mean having fun and consuming cannabis for recreational purposes, members have specific responsibilities and tasks and must ensure that all the characteristics of a real CSC exist.

Legal cannabis

Let's see in more detail:

  • A Cannabis Social Club must have all the characteristics of non-profit associations. Firstly, therefore, a club must be legally constituted and registered with the relevant body, in Italy it is the Revenue Agency . Secondly, a statute must be drawn up, within which all the objectives and purposes of the association must be specified. An assembly must then be constituted and a President, a secretary and a treasurer must be appointed. The internal organization of the club takes place on a democratic basis, all members have the right to participate in the meetings, which must be regularly minuted. Every expense, income or expense must be documented together with the activities that concern consumption and production yield. Any "profit", therefore any gain derived from the club, cannot be divided among the members, but must be left in the common fund and used for activities in favor of the association. And again, as with all non-profit associations, it is necessary to make the members' register and financial statements available so that they can be consulted publicly, including by the competent authorities.
  • Within the cannabis social club, the members themselves grow their own weed in quantities equal to those that correspond to the daily personal use of each member. (we are talking about about 5 grams per day per member up to a maximum of about 150 kg). It is possible to grow a small extra amount for emergencies (theft, spoiled crop). Consumption of cannabis is only possible within the club and it is not possible to sell the weed produced either inside or outside the club . Each member pays an annual contribution to ensure the supply of his share of grass.
  • It is important that the members of a Cannabis social club undertake to guarantee certain quality standards from the point of view of cultivation , which must be organic and free of chemical pesticides.
  • As a non-profit association, a Cannabis Social Club is not limited to being a place where it is possible to consume cannabis for recreational purposes, it is also a place of aggregation and why not a cultural hub where you can meet new possibilities. Members will be responsible for deciding which activities to include in their calendar. Many clubs choose to include collateral activities for their members among their objectives. Some aim to inform about the world of medical cannabis, others to raise awareness among young people of the risks of drugs sold on the black market. Still others organize cooking courses, for example bread-making with hemp flour or pastry-making with cannabis and hemp seeds. There are those who organize cosmetic courses, to offer the opportunity to learn how to make creams and lotions based on the active ingredients of cannabis.
  • Without a doubt, to avoid having problems, it is essential that members ensure that the club is located away from schools or children's parks.

How is it possible?

Today we can enjoy the fruits of the hard work of many people, who have invested so much in the battle for the legalization of cannabis.

In 1999 the council of Andalusia , a region in the extreme south of Spain, wanted to shed some light on the Cannabis issue. They wanted to find out if, without breaking the law, a doctor could prescribe medical cannabis and a private citizen could grow and consume it privately, even for recreational purposes.

Cannabis buds

The task of clarifying the situation was given to two lawyers from the Andalusian Institute of Criminology, professors of criminal law at the University of Malaga: Juan Muñoz and Susana Soto .

The result of their work was published in 2001 with the title: “ Therapeutic use of Cannabis and creation of premises for acquisition and consumption: legal feasibility ”. It will go down in history as the “ Muñoz-Soto Report ”: it is not a law, it is not a decree and not even a binding opinion. The two lawyers simply analyzed the law, the Constitution and the previous sentences of the Spanish Supreme Court.

According to the Spanish constitution, everyone in their own home can do what they like, as an extreme form of protection of the citizen's freedom. Also consume marijuana and even grow it for personal use. Furthermore, the constitution defends the right of citizens to create associations of any kind, as long as they do not go against the law.

In summary, any citizen can promote the creation of an association and can grow marijuana in their own home for personal use . So, if on the one hand I can grow marijuana, and on the other I can associate with other people, I will also be able to associate to grow marijuana .

The two lawyers Muñoz and Soto discovered that, in theory, it was not against the law to create an association for the purpose of collectively cultivating and consuming marijuana.

Furthermore, the lawyers wrote, the association has the right to manage a place in which:

  • Dispense marijuana to members of the association only;
  • Dispense only a small amount of marijuana to the non-member consumer, so that it cannot be resold for the purpose of dealing;
  • Smoking marijuana;
Light cannabis inflorescences

The two lawyers also add that it is better that there is no sale and/or purchase of the substance. In short, from that moment on, cannabis enters a gray area where no one can punish consumers anymore.

And since 2001, cannabis social clubs have literally been popping up like mushrooms everywhere on the Spanish peninsula and in the Balearic and Canary Islands. In Catalonia alone, 400 cannabis associations are registered, of which 200 are in Barcelona.

At the beginning the clubs had many problems with the police, but over time the situation was clarified with sentences, convictions and acquittals.

Benefits of a social club

The first advantage of a Cannabis Social Club as well as the reason why this formula has worked not only in Spain, but also elsewhere, is that it constitutes a new model of legality , which drastically opposes the black market, protecting the safety and health of cannabis users who become members.

Not only do you therefore avoid foraging on the black market, but there is the possibility of checking your harvest and taking care of it personally, knowing exactly what you are smoking.

Furthermore, many clubs, in addition to the possibility of consuming cannabis for recreational purposes within themselves, offer various activities, both cultural and manual and in some cases even professional.

For many, having such a place in your city could mean unbridled and uncontrolled cannabis consumption, but this is not the case . A Cannabis Social Club would attract regular consumers and certainly many young people, who, as happened in Spain and Portugal, would be informed about cannabis and its potential but also about the real danger of real narcotic substances.

In summary, here are what, without a doubt, are the advantages of a Cannabis Social Club:

  • it is a new model of legality
  • contributes to the fight against the black market
  • guarantees organic and environmentally friendly cultivation
  • has a controlled supply chain
  • offers high product quality standards
  • was born to become a center for aggregation, training and cultural information
  • contributes to legally valorising cannabis and making it known to the public for its potential
CBD flowers

How do I open a CSC in Spain?

Presentation of the initiative

The first step to take is the presentation of your initiative through a press conference and/or the public dissemination of the news . The best way to do this is to try to involve a well-known personality, to enjoy adequate visibility and reduce the risk of being prosecuted as much as possible.

Still within the scope of the presentation, it is very important to underline that the sole purpose of the Cannabis Social Club is to undertake cultivation for the personal consumption of adult members and to offer a legal, safe and transparent alternative to illicit drug trafficking.

Bodies of the association

Then you need to think about the structure of the CSC. The first step is the proclamation of the Constituent Assembly , within which there must be at least three founding members who make up the Board of Directors: a president, a secretary and a treasurer.

The statutes, previously drawn up, must be approved together with the articles of association, which will be signed and ratified by all members. The denomination or company name is also specified in it. After that, you must submit the documents to the register of the Autonomous Community to which you belong to make the association official.

Registration of members

Once the association has been created, we need to think about the members . To join, you must be an adult and fill out a membership application, which requires the payment of a membership fee , as well as declaring that you are a regular consumer of cannabis , that you want to be part of the association and that you have no criminal record linked to crimes against health. public.

The most important part of the registration is the declaration of the consumption forecast. In it the member approximately defines the quantity of marijuana he will consume per month : the sum of the members' consumption forecasts legitimizes the association to cultivate and possess marijuana for the total quantity requested by the members.


The association must self-produce the cannabis consumed by its members based on the sum of consumption forecasts . CSCs that do not have the means to self-produce their own marijuana resort to joint purchasing; on behalf of the members, the Board of Directors purchases cannabis from third parties.

Joint purchasing is, like production, the sum of consumption forecasts. The maximum consumption forecast is limited to 60 grams per month per member.

Whether the marijuana comes from self-supply or from the black market, the production or purchase prices must be made known to members with maximum transparency. At the same time, the final price of the product must be duly justified and separated.


The association must not spread or promote the consumption of cannabis , it must guarantee a democratic organization in which the participation of members is guaranteed.

As happens in all associations, some members are more involved than others, but everyone must always be informed about meetings and decisions . All collaborators, including partners, must be contractualized and adequately remunerated, according to the terms of the law.


Coffee shop Vs Cannabis Club

Coffee shop and Cannabis Social Club represent two different models with which cannabis consumption has been integrated into the lives of citizens of two European countries, on the one hand Holland with Coffee Shops since 1967 , on the other Spain with the first cannabis social club in the most recent 2005 .

Coffee shops were born in Holland in the 70s to combat the black market and the use of hard drugs. Unlike Cannabis Social Clubs, which are non-profit associations and meeting centers, a coffee shop is a real shop , complete with shop windows. Inside it is possible to buy ganja and smoke and in some cases (where space allows) also consume it on site while drinking something strictly non-alcoholic.

It is not possible to purchase more than 5 grams per person in a coffee shop and the sale is prohibited to minors under 18 years of age. Just like cannabis clubs, these activities must be located away from schools and places frequented by children.

The Cannabis Social Club grows its own weed and guarantees an organically grown product. Coffee shops purchase from third-party shops and the origin of the substance is not always known and certified.

Unlike the Cannabis Social Club, whose access is reserved for members and is regulated by a membership, any adult can access a coffee shop.

As we have seen, for a foreign tourist, it can be very difficult to access a club in Spain . Without any problem you can instead access a coffee shop.

This phenomenon of mass tourism aimed at the consumption of cannabis has hit Amsterdam and as the article in this newspaper underlines, in recent weeks it has generated concerns on the part of the Dutch Mayor, who in times of pandemic, faced with a city after emptied of tourists for so long, it has become aware of the need to review the coffee shop model and intends to proceed with strong restrictions regarding tourist access.

This is a further demonstration of how in fact the Cannabis Social Club model is in this historical moment more suitable for monitoring the use of the substance and promoting a more conscious use without falling into excess.

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