Contrary to popular belief, cannabis is not legal in Barcelona. Even though the substance itself is illegal, you can still acquire, possess and consume cannabis at the privacy of your home or a private social club. The transportation, possession and consumption of cannabis in a public area is illegal; nevertheless, it is not a crime. It’s just a ‚civil fault‘ penalised with a fine of around €800. If the quantity is smaller than two grams, most likely you won‘ t be fined. However, if you are caught sharing, facilitating or buying cannabis for a third party, a friend or even a family member, you could be charged as a drug dealer, and if the third party is underaged (younger than 18 years of age) you could be sentenced to 4 years in prison.
Therefore, there are only two legal ways of getting and smoking cannabis in Barcelona:
At the Cannabis Clubs
At a Private Property
There are loopholes in the Spanish legal system that allows residents to hold cannabis “associations” or “clubs” within their homes, thereby allowing private cannabis clubs to operate. However, cannabis clubs in Barcelona are much different than “coffee shops” in Amsterdam in that they are private and require a membership. They are also not legally allowed to advertise. That’s why the cannabis culture in Barcelona is somewhat of an underground activity that some may not even be aware of. With that said, there are currently over 300 legal cannabis clubs in Barcelona, and it can be very easy to gain access through referral by a current member.
In Barcelona, smoking marijuana is considered a private and personal matter and can be conducted in any private property of your own. On the other hand, anyone caught with marijuana in their possession or smoking it in public is subject to administrative fines, criminal offenses, and possible jail time. To be safe, it’s best to never smoke marijuana in public – and while transporting marijuana it’s also best to keep it secure and hidden at all times.
Can Tourists Enjoy Cannabis while Visiting Barcelona?
Yes, tourists are allowed to enjoy cannabis in Barcelona. In fact, Barcelona is now considered second only to Amsterdam in Europe for cannabis enthusiasts. However, tourists, just like residents, must adhere to the legal restrictions and guidelines – and also consider other factors. For example, even if you’re in town for just a few days or a week, you’ll still need to acquire an annual membership at a cannabis club. While Barcelona residents might choose to purchase annual memberships at multiple clubs for the sake of variety, the cost of memberships can quickly add up for tourists. Therefore, it’s best to join only one or two clubs when visiting the city.
A word of caution
Although there are now hundreds of legal cannabis clubs and coffee shops in Barcelona, there is also a growing amount of illegal or suspicious activity, which is often promoted by street vendors handing out flyers. As a result, it’s best to stick to referrals by those you know and trust.
Whether enjoying your cannabis in a private property, short term rental or a cannabis club, you’ll find a wide range of high-quality options and products in Barcelona to serve your needs!