- Cannabis social clubs are associations that distribute and stock up on cannabis among their members, all of them of legal age.
- They function in the private sphere, thus reducing the risks associated with the black market and indiscriminate growing. These not-for-profit associations have arisen in countries where marijuana use has been decriminalized – as it is the case of Spain – to cover the needs of smokers who may have the right to consume, but not the right to grow or have restricted rights to do so.
- Find here below different requirements to start a cannabis club in Spain and succeed in the attempt.
1. Creation and registration
The first step is holding a Constituent Assembly, for which you need at least three founding board members: a president, a secretary and a treasurer. The articles of association, previously drawn up, and the foundation charter, must be approved, signed and ratified by all members. You must also indicate the legal or registered name therein. Most cannabis clubs in Spain follow the articles of association of the pioneering club Pannagh. Once the assembly has been held, documentation must be presented in the registry of your autonomous community to formalize the association. It is recommended that you join the Federation of Cannabis Associations (FAC) to legitimize operations and contribute to the development of the association movement nationwide.
2. Membership registration and consumption estimate
To join, members must fill out a registration request, pay a fee and provide an ID to prove they are not minors. They must also acknowledge regular use of cannabis, the desire to belong to the association and a criminal record devoid of crimes against public health. The most important part of the registration is the statement of consumption estimate. Here, the members must indicate an approximation of the amount of marijuana they will consume monthly. The sum of the members' consumption estimates is what entitles the association to supply marijuana to its members.
Marijuana vending desk at a CSC Ganjazzin San Sebastian.
Ideally, to stay off the black market, the association would grow its own cannabis for its members to consume. In this case, the production must be adjusted to the total consumption estimated. However, many associations do not have the means to produce their own marijuana so they turn to a joint purchase, where the Board acquires cannabis from a third party on behalf of its members.
The joint purchase must be, just as in the case of production, the total consumption estimate. The maximum consumption estimate is limited to 60 grams per member per month. Whether the marijuana comes from their own supply or from the black market, members must be notified of the production or acquisition costs with complete transparency. Furthermore, the final product price must be properly justified and broken down.
Price breakdown of marijuana acquired under a joint purchase at a CSC in Madrid.
The association will not encourage or promote cannabis consumption to non-members. Likewise, it must guarantee a democratic organizational scheme in which – although authority may be delegated to speed up decision-making – the mechanisms needed for members to participate in decisions are guaranteed.
As it usually happens in any association, some members are more involved than others, but everyone must be about assemblies and changes. As the association grows, positions will have to be assigned to the people in charge of performing the activities needed for the right functioning of the association, like production, administration, accounting, management, etc.
Members working in the association must have a contract, a stipulated salary, etc., just like anywhere else. This is one of the most common neglects in associations just starting out: not regulating the jobs and the resulting salaries for employed members. Watch out for these labor and regulatory matters, as they can disrupt all the previous work needed to create a cannabis social club.
If you would like to know more about the operation of these associations, delve into the secret diary of a marijuana vending machine.
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