Is Barcelona shutting down its cannabis clubs?

barcelona cannabis clubs culture

Barcelona has long been a top canna-tourism destination, thanks to its network of underground cannabis clubs. While the plant is technically illegal in Spain, the purchase and consumption of marijuana within the confines of these clubs is tolerated.

However, the rich cannabis culture in Barna could be in jeopardy. The City Council is allegedly seeking to close the so-called “social clubs” that are the backbone of Barcelona’s weed scene. 

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Albert Batlle, Barcelona’s third deputy mayor and security councilor, said in a December 22nd council meeting that his team seeks to eradicate the clubs. 

“It is a model that we do not want in our city,” Batlle said, as reported by elDiario. “We have to do it [close them] and do it well. With legal certainty, with rigor, and without flaws caused by haste.”

In the lead-up to the year’s end, roughly 20 cannabis clubs underwent inspections. Local police investigated whether cannabis consumption was being encouraged, a far cry from the typical safety screenings previously deployed.

Cannabis social clubs were previously regulated through a policy known as “La Rosa Verde” (The Green Rose), protecting the operations from scrutiny. However, the Spanish Supreme Court overturned the legislation in 2021, putting the clubs’ future at risk of closure.

Batlle did admit that a change of laws could be necessary to eliminate the clubs. When elDiario asked the City Council for an official comment, the Council stated, “They work to guarantee the legality of these establishments.”

It remains to be seen whether Barcelona legislators will actually put an end to the city’s social clubs. However, recent actions indicate that concerted efforts are being made. With millions of tourists frequenting the clubs yearly, the economic impact could be severe—something surely being considered in the final decision-making process. While arrests for cannabis possession do occur regularly outside of the social clubs, it hasn’t stopped legions of consumers from imbibing. 


Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter