[Updated for 2018!] Barcelona coffee shops are private by law; they are quite different from Amsterdam’s coffee shops or Denver’s dispensaries. I get several hundred emails each month from people asking questions about the coffee shops in Barcelona, and it’s obvious that there is a lot of misinformation out there. If you’re looking to get a membership at a coffee shop in Barcelona, it’s important that you understand that you will be held to a higher standard as a member. Therefore, you should commit these study points to memory so that – if you do become a member of a Barcelona coffee shop – you’ll be a valuable new member and not just a selfish turd that only cares about getting high.
How to Join a Coffee Shop in Barcelona, Spain
*Barcelona coffee shops are private – you cannot just walk in and join. You need to be sponsored by a current member of the club, and you need to complete an application with that sponsor present (in most cases), and pay a registration fee. Sometimes there is a review and approval process. Act like a disinterested tourist or a rowdy party boy and you’ll probably be rejected. Bye!
(This is a preliminary application process valid as of October 2016; not all who apply will qualify for membership based on Spanish law and club policy. This process is not meant to be promotional in any way, it is merely intended to properly direct the hundreds of unsolicited emails that I receive each week. Application for membership is general and is not necessarily applied to any particular club unless the applicant fully qualifies.)
*Coffee shops in Barcelona charge a very small yearly fee, usually around 20 to 50 Euro. If you don’t think that 20 Euro is worth it to have a beautiful, well appointed place to safely acquire and smoke some of the world’s best cannabis; to have a place to meet like-minded people without fear of persecution, and to have all of the crazy benefits these clubs provide – game nights, pool tables, video games, weed tastings, free dinners, live music, free snacks, etc. – then you can pound sand up your ass and take your business back to the street.
*Barcelona coffee shops are safe. Why do some of you write to me and ask me if the club I am considering sponsoring you at is safe? As if I am going to say; “No, it is a very dangerous club. You should not go to any coffee shops in Barcelona without being armed.” Of course they’re safe! All of the many coffee shops in Barcelona, Madrid and anywhere else in Spain that I have been to are extremely safe and professional; just like nearly every other business you’ll enter in a day. My wife is a dainty little thing and she’s as naive as a newborn titmouse, but I’d send her to any of the clubs I frequent on her own and wouldn’t think any more of it than if she had just left for the market.
*You are permitted to take up to 98 grams from the club each month. You must reimburse the club for the marijuana products that you take. You are not buying anything. If you are a member, then you and everyone else shares the harvest and the expenses related to it. So when you go to a coffee shop in Barcelona, you are simply reimbursing the club’s treasury for your share of marijuana. You are not buying it. Remember this.
*Yes, you can take weed out of the club. Everyone does. But keep this in mind: possession of marijuana in Barcelona is only permissible in private. You can use cannabis at home, or you can use it in the club. When you take marijuana products out of the clubs or coffee shops, you are at risk. If you are stopped by the authorities and they find your weed, they will take it and fine you. This is not a criminal offense, so don’t pee your pants. Instead, if you decide to take cannabis out of the club, place it in your undergarments and quickly take it home or to a private location. Don’t be the asshole that walks down La Rambla smoking a joint.
*You will need an address in Spain and a passport or NIE card in order to join a coffee shop in Barcelona. No, the club will not accept a photocopy.
*If you are under 18, you cannot join. Sorry. And with many coffee shops, you cannot join if you are less than 21 years old. Do your homework and ask about the age before you go through the process to attempt to join.
*Most of Barcelona’s coffee shops offer medicinal grade processed flowers and at least one or two concentrates like hash, wax, shatter, etc. What each club offers changes approximately once every two weeks, and I don’t have time to keep track. So no, I cannot tell you what strains the club has available. I can only tell you that the clubs I am a member of always choose excellent, premium strains and produce some of the world’s best, freshest marijuana. It’s better weed than in Amsterdam, and it’s way better than in Denver.
*You can join more than one coffee shop in Barcelona. If you want, you can create an entire tour of coffee shops, provided you can get someone to sponsor you at each one.
*The process of joining one of Barcelona’s coffee shops generally requires anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes of your time.
*In most cases you can acquire and consume cannabis the same day you join.
*Once you are a member, you cannot sponsor new members for a few days to a week or more, depending on the club.
*If there is a large group of you visiting Barcelona, it is possible for all or most of your group to join and enjoy the club together. There is usually plenty of room.
*Finally, there are no such things as coffee shops in Barcelona. They’re not called coffee shops at all. They are referred to as social clubs or associations. The only reason that I wrote this article using the terms “Barcelona coffee shop” and the like is because I noticed in my analytics and tracking software that the vast majority of people use Google to search for cannabis clubs in Barcelona using the term “coffee shops,” probably because that’s what most of the world has been hearing out of Amsterdam for the last forty years. So if you’re looking to become a member of a “coffee shop in Barcelona,” you should probably start by referring to these exceptional clubs by their proper terms.
You can also check out the following video which will give you a glimpse of what it’s like inside of Barcelona’s cannabis clubs:
(This is a preliminary application process valid as of October 2016; not all who apply will qualify for membership based on Spanish law and club policy. Application for membership is general and is not necessarily applied to any particular club unless the applicant fully qualifies.)