Spain is being is left behind in this extraordinary market
In a period on which many modern countries have discovered the benefits of legalization, Spain remains closed to any kind of changes related to cannabis legalization. It is just a question of hypocrisy and religious feelings that rule the old fashion mentality of the politicians.
During the first 40 years of democracy two parties have been ruling the country. The Partido Popular (PP) and the Socialist Party (PSOE). Both are very close minded and very inefficient to govern Spain. The corruption is unbeliebeble and the people are suffering the highest levels of unemployment ever reached in the country.
On top of it, Spain has probably the best climate in Europe to grow cannabis. The weather is perfect and the area where cannabis could be cultivated has about 250.000 square kilometers. To make things worse it is in this area where the unemployment rate reaches its highest peak. In some places is as high as 80% of the population. The submerged economy is atrocious and this is something that cannabis legalization could solve. However, the situation is becoming more restrictive day after day.
Spain has many entrepreneurs eager to start a business related to hemp that could improve the disastrous financial situation Spaniards are living. There is a clear atmosphere of investment. People don’t expect a legalization of recreational cannabis, but, at least, a legalization of medical hemp that doesn’t contain the psychoactive cannabinoid (THC) but it has CBD, the well demonstrated efficiency as medicinal cannabinoid.
There are quite a few companies whose activity is related to CBD. Most of these companies got together this year at Spannabis, the most important cannabis fair in Europe. Some of these companies are billing more than 15 millions euros every year. Many experts consider this market could bill hundreds of millions euros.
Some foreigner companies have already landed in Spain. Weedsmap is an American APP that puts in the map the different cannabis associations located all over the country. There are more than 1.000 associations in the Spain. However, the restrictive cannabis policy has obliged to close many of them, especially in Madrid. And some of their members have been sent to jail or given a high fine. I personally interviewed the lawyer who represents many of these associations and told me the situation was getting worse.
However, it is legal to sell seeds “for collectors”. It is so hypocrite! Does anybody believe someone spends 50 euros in 10 seeds to collect them? What does he/she is going to do with them? Put them in a frame and watch them? It is ridiculous! The three more important companies that sell seeds are billing more than 30 millions euros per year.
Spain keeps walking to and fro when it comes to cannabis legalization. Some new companies open while some associations close. About 35.000 people attended the last Spannabis (2.018). It is a figure that represents the enormous financial potential cannabis has in this country. But the two more important parties seem to ignore it. To make the legal situation even worse, cannabis has different legal status in the different autonomous communities (provinces). In Catalonia and Basque country the law is much more permissive. But in Madrid, for example, is getting more restrictive than ever before.
Cannabis market has many economic advantages, not to mention the private rights of the people. So far there aren’t figures about the impact it would have in the “pocket” of the country. USA saw the advantages and possibilities this market has. But everybody knows how much it would affect the unemployment and how much could improve the Spanish economy. Then…why? I personally believe it is a question of catholic fundamentalism. Few people know that many members of the PP belong to a ultra catholic group named Opus Dei (The work of God). These people don’t see the difference between soft and hard drugs. They think marijuana is just drug that leads to heroin.
Many activists think that the legalization in Spain would be a chance for the pharma companies. One of the most important ones in Spain sells a product (Sativex) whose price is 400 euros. In other words; only the “big fish” would benefit from a more open law.
Nobody knows what is going to happen with the new Government. But I distrust it as much as I distrusted the previous one. It is amazing to think how absurd the Spanish politicians are. Having the highest unemployment rate in Europe and being financially broken, cannabis legalization could be an excellent solution for millions who are suffering all kind of problems.