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Revisiting the Birthplace of the Cannabis Social Club Model and the Role Played by Cannabis Social Club Federations

Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) are a nonprofit model for the supply of cannabis originating in Spain. This article aims to provide an overview of current CSC practices in Barcelona, exploring the role played by CSC Federations in shaping them. This analysis draws on 32 semistructured interviews with CSC managers (n = 15) and with other stakeholders in Barcelona (n = 17). We build also on field observations at other CSCs based in Barcelona. We found a heterogeneity of CSC practices, some of which were not in line with the self-regulatory codes developed by the CSC Federations. In applying an earlier CSC typology, we identified also country-specific CSC features. While the CSC Federations have contributed to unifying the cannabis movement and made efforts to homogenize CSCs’ practices, in the absence of (government) cannabis regulation, their efforts have to some extent been undermined.

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