Last Call at Barcelona’s Cannabis Social Clubs?

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Almost every city in the world has cafes—and in 2021, many American cities have legal cannabis—but nowhere else in the world can you find anything resembling the roughly 225 cannabis social clubs in Barcelona. Plentiful, relatively simple to find, welcoming to tourists and (mostly) tolerated by authorities, Barcelona’s cannabis “asociaciones” make the Catalonian capital possibly the best “420 friendly” tourist destination in the world. Some would even argue they are better than Amsterdam’s coffeeshop scene, and certainly more welcoming than the U.S., where social consumption lounges are rare. And now that’s all at risk of going away. As El Pais reported, in late July, the Catalan High Court ruled that Barcelona’s cannabis clubs can no longer “promote the consumption, sale or cultivation” of cannabis. The court also threw out regulations passed by local lawmakers in Barcelona—meaning, technically speaking, police could come and shut all 225 of them down tomorrow, as a stern letter sent recently to all 225 clubs from the Barcelona City Council warned. Inspectors from city government will sometime soon visit all of the city’s asociaciones, “starting with the ones with the most negative impact and which are geared towards tourists and massive sales, with shutdown orders possible to follow investigations.  A strike against cannabis tourism echoes a limited crackdown against certain foreign-friendly cannabis cafes in Holland—who risk penalties if they admit foreigners without proof of local residence. But in Barcelona, even locals-only  clubs are in jeopardy. “The majority of associations assume that sooner or later they will be forced to close down,” as Eric Asensio, a spokesman for the Federation of Catalan Cannabis Associations told the Guardian. El Ayuntamiento de #Barcelona reclama una "respuesta conjunta" para reconocer "la necesidad de espacios donde se pueda producir el consumo, y no la venta, de forma controlada" de #cannabis lo…

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