Have you ever heard of cannabis social clubs? Imagine an “Amsterdam” style place where people get together to smoke joints and have fun? Absolutely not! In this article, we find out what they really are.
What are Cannabis Social Clubs? Cannabis Social Clubs are legally registered non-profit organizations that aim to cultivate cannabis collectively for personal and medicinal use.
As it is intended for personal use, the amount of marijuana to be produced in these clubs is determined in advance by the members according to their consumption. Thus, the crop will not produce more than it needs.
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Cannabis Social Clubs follow the criteria of planned cultivation to meet the members’ demand and not vice versa. The members themselves also finance them: each member deposits a personal fee that will be used to cover the costs of running the association, renting the premises, utilities or buying various equipment.
How Cannabis Social Clubs are born
The idea of setting up Cannabis social clubs was conceived by ENCOD (European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies), a network of European non-governmental organizations dealing with the impact of international drug policies.
It aims to defend the right of citizens to consume certain substances safely and raise awareness of cultivation for personal use.
According to the definition of ENCOD: “Cannabis Social Clubs are established to protect the rights of cannabis consumers and producers, and to contribute to the creation of cannabis policies that benefit society as a whole”.
How do they work?
First, it is essential to understand that Cannabis social clubs cultivate only for their members, so it is forbidden to sell or give it to non-members.
They are also characterized by transparency and democracy. Like any other legally recognized association, Cannabis Social Clubs are legally registered and have a statute and a democratic and participatory internal organization.
The decision-making body is the General Assembly, which meets annually and to which all members are invited to attend. In addition, the production yield, consumption, activity, membership book and accounts are available for consultation by the authorities, all members or other Cannabis Social Clubs.
But what is done in these clubs? In practice, each member can buy a few grams of marijuana per day for personal use, which must be consumed within the club itself, which guarantees privacy and security.
It is not unusual to find a corner dedicated to books and reading.
Origin of Marijuana in Cannabis Social Clubs
Marijuana found in Cannabis social clubs is produced and sold to the association by “grower members” who collaborate in “non-profit collective cultivation of cannabis”.
These growers have the task of cultivating the different varieties of hemp to meet the needs of all members. In addition, Cannabis Social Clubs care about the health of their members and the community, they make sure that the growers use organic procedures to produce hemp without pesticides and potentially harmful chemicals.
Safe and responsible consumption is the top priority of these associations.
Countries where to find cannabis social clubs
The majority of Cannabis social clubs are currently located in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia and New Zealand, while pilot projects for the establishment of Cannabis social clubs are underway in Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
In Italy, the first social club inspired by the Spanish model was recently opened in Milan. It is called ‘The Hemp Club’ and is dedicated to Marco Pannella, who has always supported the legalization of cannabis.
It will be intended for therapeutic use, and members with a medical prescription will consume cannabis directly in the center. In any case, the countries where these associations are most likely to be found are:
- Spain, where the highest concentration of Cannabis social clubs is in Catalonia, with more than 200 social clubs in Barcelona alone.
- The Netherlands, common throughout the country, although the highest concentration is in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
- United States of America, a country that has always been tolerant of cannabis.
Advantages of a Cannabis social club
Cannabis social clubs have many advantages, but the biggest one is that they provide security by eliminating the need to buy marijuana on the black market.
The result of this whole process, from seed to harvest, under the supervision of the club, is that there are no more cut or low-quality products, and prices have been significantly reduced.
Many clubs also offer jobs together with various products or services, which are entirely legal.
The social benefits of these clubs should also not be underestimated: clubs educate, inform and advise both members and the public on the safe use of cannabis.
Contrary to what typically happens on the black market, Cannabis social clubs are always willing to engage with the authorities, as constructive dialogue with institutions is actively welcomed and encouraged.