Spain is home to a vibrant and robust cannabis community, with private cannabis clubs located throughout the country, particularly in Barcelona. However, despite the prevalence of these clubs, Spain's cannabis public policies are outdated and fail to reflect the reality on the ground. While cannabis advocates both inside and outside of Spain were hopeful that the start of 2023 would see a cannabis regulatory measure finally reach the finish line, that has yet to materialize.
What has materialized, though, is an agreement in Spain's Congress to regulate low-THC cannabis, also known as "cannabis light." This type of cannabis is very popular in many European nations, and the PSOE has agreed on an initiative in Congress with Unidas Podemos, Esquerra (ERC), and Bildu that opens the door to a future regulation of non-psychoactive cannabis whose percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the euphoric drug, is less than 1%.
This development is an essential step forward, but it is crucial to keep in mind that what Spain really needs is a comprehensive cannabis policy and regulatory overhaul. Currently, private cannabis clubs operate in a legal grey area, rather than being licensed and accepted outright, despite the fact that cannabis products containing all types of THC percentages, including concentrates with high levels of THC, are consumed every day in Spain. This regulatory gap puts public health at risk and prevents entrepreneurs from operating in a business landscape that allows them to meet the nation's demand in a way that benefits public health and generates revenue for public coffers.
It is unclear how helpful the regulation of low-THC cannabis would be, and it remains to be seen if this type of reform will be adopted in the near future and have a meaningful impact on Spain's cannabis industry. However, it is clear that consumers and patients in Spain deserve safe access to tested cannabis, and entrepreneurs deserve a regulatory framework that affords them every reasonable opportunity to supply the nation's demand for cannabis in a way that boosts public health and generates revenue for the public good.