Is Weed Legal in Spain? (June 2023)
In Spain, the laws regarding cannabis are complex and can vary depending on the region. While the possession and consumption of cannabis in private spaces is generally tolerated, its sale and cultivation for commercial purposes remain illegal.
Spanish law allows for the formation of cannabis social clubs, which are non-profit organizations where members can collectively cultivate and consume cannabis within certain limits. These clubs operate in a legal gray area, as they are not explicitly authorized but are often tolerated by local authorities.
It's important to note that the laws and enforcement practices surrounding cannabis can differ across different regions of Spain. Some regions, such as Catalonia and the Basque Country, have implemented more lenient policies towards cannabis, while others may be stricter in their enforcement.
Spain is located in southwestern Europe and is bordered by Portugal to the west, France to the northeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast. It consists of 17 autonomous communities with distinct languages, traditions, and customs. Some of the prominent regions include Catalonia, Basque Country, Andalusia, and Madrid. Spain offers a wide range of attractions, including the historic city of Madrid, the stunning beaches of Costa del Sol, and the vibrant nightlife of Barcelona.
Medical Cannabis in Spain
Spain legalized medical cannabis in 2022, though steps towards this had begun way back in 2005. In October 2005, the autonomous government of Catalonia initiated a therapeutic program utilizing Sativex for 600 patients suffering from various illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and cancer. The aim of the program was to alleviate symptoms like nausea and muscle tension. The project involved six hospitals, forty researchers, and sixty pharmacies. Sativex, administered orally through an atomizer, was made available at select hospital pharmacies. The complete research initiative can be accessed in the Catalan language through the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Cultivation of cannabis for research, medical, and scientific purposes in Spain is prohibited unless authorized by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS).
Currently, there is no specific regulation for medicinal cannabis in Spain. However, a significant development occurred on 27 June 2022 when the Spanish Congress approved a report analyzing experiences of cannabis regulation for medicinal use. This represents a step forward in the process of regularizing cannabis. The report includes eight conclusions, acknowledging the potential therapeutic uses of cannabis preparations. The AEMPS is currently working on a report with recommendations for the regulation of cannabis for medical use. This aims to establish regulations and ensure the quality of standardized cannabis extracts and preparations. In anticipation of future legalization, the Spanish Medical Cannabis Association (AECAME) has been established.
Since medicinal cannabis is not currently regulated in Spain, the cultivation of cannabis or production of derivatives for commercial purposes is only permitted for export to companies that are duly authorized in their country of origin.
Is Cannabis Decriminalized in Spain?
Yes, Spain has decriminalized the personal use of cannabis, but the rules can vary depending on the autonomous community. Generally, the possession and consumption of cannabis for personal use in private spaces are decriminalized. This means that individuals who possess small quantities of cannabis for personal consumption are unlikely to face criminal charges.
However, it is important to note that the sale, purchase, and importation of any quantity of cannabis remain illegal and are considered criminal offenses. Public consumption of cannabis is also considered a misdemeanor and can result in fines and confiscation of the product.
Additionally, cultivation of cannabis for personal use is allowed as long as it is done in a private space and for one's own consumption. However, there may be restrictions on the number of plants that can be grown, and it is essential to comply with regional regulations.
Is Recreational Cannabis Legal in Spain?
No, the sale and importation of any quantity of cannabis is considered a criminal offense in Spain and can lead to imprisonment. The purchase, possession, and consumption of cannabis in public places are considered misdemeanors and can result in fines and confiscation of the product. However, consumption and cultivation by adults in private spaces are generally legal, as there is a legal vacuum in this area, provided that it can be demonstrated that it is for personal use. It is important to note that cannabis plants visible from public places, such as balconies, are considered a serious administrative offense and can lead to fines ranging from 601 to 30,000€.
Are Cannabis Social Clubs Legal in Spain?
Yes, cannabis social clubs are permitted in some Spanish regions. It should be noted that cannabis laws in Spain can vary depending on the autonomous community. For instance, in June 2017, Catalonia legalized the cultivation, consumption, and distribution of cannabis for members of designated cannabis clubs. These clubs must operate as self-sufficient non-profit organizations and can only distribute cannabis to individuals who are 18 years old or above. Additionally, cannabis clubs in Catalonia are subject to limitations, such as producing up to 150kg of dried cannabis per year, and must adhere to regulations aimed at preventing drug tourism.
Is Hemp Legal in Spain?
Yes, industrial cannabis cultivation in Spain is legally permitted as long as it adheres to the THC content limits of 0.3% established by the European Union in Regulation (EU) No 2021/2115. This regulation outlines the rules for supporting strategic plants under the common agricultural policy and is financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. It replaces Regulations (EU) 1305/2013 and (EU) 1307/2013.
To ensure compliance, it is mandatory to use certified seeds from varieties registered in the common catalog of agricultural plant species of the European Union. Alternatively, varieties that have been granted a Provisional Marketing Authorization (PMA) according to the European Commission Decision 2004/842/EC can also be used.
The specific guidelines for industrial cannabis cultivation and subsidies can be found in Royal Decree 1729/1999, which authorizes the cultivation of 25 varieties of industrial cannabis in Spain. This decree also establishes the rules for granting subsidies for crops intended for fiber production. To maintain the legality of the crop, the seeds used must be certified by the European Union. Therefore, cannabis cultivation in Spain is strictly limited to the production of fiber, grain, or seeds.
Is CBD Legal in Spain?
Yes, CBD that has been derived from EU certified hemp is legal in Spain. Regarding cosmetic products containing CBD, they are subject to specific regulations overseen by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS). Certain extracts and oils derived from parts of the Cannabis sativa species are permitted in cosmetic products, including the use of cannabidiol (CBD). However, manufacturers of cosmetics containing CBD must comply with cosmetic regulations to legally market their products.
It is important to note that the packaging of these products should clearly indicate that they are intended for external use as cosmetic products and are not suitable for human consumption.
CBD is not currently listed as an approved food product within the European Union. Therefore, it is considered “not fit for human consumption” according to food regulations.
Can I Grow Weed at Home in Spain?
Yes, you can grow cannabis for personal use in Spain. The cultivation of cannabis for personal use is allowed in private spaces as long as it is intended for personal consumption. However, there are certain restrictions and guidelines to follow:
- The cultivation must take place in a private space that is not visible from public areas, such as balconies or windows facing the street.
- The number of plants should be limited to a reasonable amount for personal use, typically considered to be a maximum of six plants.
- The cultivation should not be conducted for commercial purposes. Selling or distributing cannabis is illegal.
- It is recommended to take measures to ensure the plants' odor does not cause a nuisance to neighbors or draw unwanted attention.
- While personal cultivation is allowed, it is important to be aware of the laws and regulations specific to your region or autonomous community within Spain, as they can vary slightly.
It's advisable to stay informed about any updates or changes in the legislation to ensure compliance with the law.
Will Spain Legalize Weed?
About 10% of Spaniards use cannabis recreationally, even though it remains technically “illegal.” Cannabis social clubs make it possible for people to access cannabis and hence the Spaniards conduct their social lives around the plant. The laws on cannabis have been changing progressively, especially in the last five years. The political party Podemos is a supporter of legalizing and regulating cannabis in Spain. In 2021, another political party called Más País introduced a motion to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Spain, with support from Unidas Podemos, an electoral alliance in which Podemos participates. However, the governing Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) voted against the motion. There are all signs to indicate that Spain will legalize cannabis fully sooner rather than later.