CBD Flower Laws in Spain

Published August 24, 2020
CBD Flower Laws in Spain - Secret Nature

Spain has a long and fascinating history of cannabis use and cultivation. Unfortunately, this European nation’s stance on CBD isn’t quite as progressive as its views on cannabis. While it’s unlikely that you’ll get in serious trouble for using CBD in Spain, it’s important to be aware of this nation’s cannabis and CBD laws nonetheless. In this guide, delve into the complexities of CBD law in Spain, and find out whether it’s a good idea to use CBD flower in this country.

Background on CBD flower in Spain

If you visit Spain, you won’t find any CBD products on pharmacy shelves. You won’t find any CBD products on Spanish websites, and you’ll find that the average Spaniard doesn’t know too much about this non-intoxicating cannabinoid. At the same time, however, you’ll smell the distinct aroma of cannabis wafting out of discreet shops on major urban streets, and you won’t see anyone getting arrested for cannabis possession. How can this be the case?

In Spain, it is legal to grow and possess marijuana. As long as the cannabis you possess was grown for personal use, you can use it in the privacy of your own home without worrying about getting in trouble with the law. The moment you try to sell cannabis to others for a profit, however, you’ll run afoul of Spain’s drug trafficking laws, which dictate that cannabis cannot be sold or marketed within the borders of this nation.

If you decide to offer the cannabis you grow to others without taking in a profit, however, Spanish law says you’re in the clear. Starting in 2001, cannabis clubs started appearing across Spain. These lawfully-registered entities consist of cannabis growers and club members who congregate to sell non-profit marijuana. In 2015, it was estimated that more than 500 cannabis clubs operated across Spain, and the vast majority of these organizations are concentrated in Catalonia.

Speaking of Catalonia, this autonomous community within Spain, which includes the thriving port city Barcelona, recently fully legalized cannabis cultivation and commerce. While similar measures have yet to be adopted nationwide, this Catalonian marijuana legislation may set the stage for an evolving stance on cannabis throughout Spain.

Due to the recent explosion of interest in CBD worldwide, certain cannabis clubs in Catalonia and other Spanish regions have started offering CBD-rich cannabis strains. The Spanish cannabis seed supplier Alchimia Web has also recently bolstered its CBD-rich seed offerings, indicating that awareness of CBD is spreading throughout Spain.

Even though cannabis trafficking is illegal within Spain’s borders, this nation is one of the world’s largest exporters of marijuana products. With all of these factors in place, it would make sense if Spain soon became one of the biggest hubs of CBD flower commerce within Europe and beyond. This nation will need to overcome a few major hurdles, however, before CBD regulation in Spain becomes normalized and CBD-rich flower can be sold outside of Catalonia and cannabis clubs throughout the rest of Spain.

CBD laws in Spain

Like many European countries, the Spanish government takes the majority of its marching orders from the European Union (EU), a transnational governmental structure that weighs in on everything from education to nutrition. The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Products (AEMPS) generates domestic policies for health-related matters not covered by the EU’s guidelines.

Together, these two entities have constructed the bulk of the regulatory structure currently governing CBD sales and possession within Spain. The EU has declared that Cannabis sativa products can be manufactured within its member countries as long as they contain less than 0.2% THC, which potentially opens the door to CBD-rich hemp flower production throughout a large swath of the European continent.

The AEMPS, for its part, has authorized a handful of Spanish companies to manufacture cannabis products and distribute them in other countries, and it has not established a firm stance on CBD one way or another. This agency has not labeled CBD as a substance that is safe to consume, but neither has it enforced a 2018 EU law stipulating that CBD cannot be included in food products.

If Spain followed the dictates of the EU by the letter, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that products such as tinctures, capsules, and edibles containing CBD would be illegal in this European nation. Due to an ongoing lack of comprehensive legislation, however, Spain’s official views on CBD are unclear. It’s likely this lack of clarity that’s holding back the Spanish CBD market more than any other factor.

It’s important to note that the EU’s Novel Foods Act does not apply to topical or cosmetic products. Therefore, this legislation does not ban topical CBD products in the EU’s member countries.

Is CBD flower legal in Spain?

Neither the EU nor the Spanish government has provided clear guidance on the status of CBD flower law in Spain. Due to Spain’s existing laws on personal drug use, however, it is practically impossible to get in legal trouble for using CBD flower in this country. On the contrary, people you encounter might wonder why you aren’t smoking THC-rich marijuana instead.

Spain’s regulations on CBD mainly apply to suppliers and not to users. While a company seeking to sell CBD flower in Spain might get in trouble for setting up shop online or in a retail store, average Spanish citizens and visitors to this country are free to possess and smoke CBD flower to their hearts’ content.

Somewhat ironically, it could be said that CBD-rich hemp flower is less legal than THC-rich marijuana flower in Spain. While using marijuana privately is legal throughout the entirety of Spain and cannabis commerce is entirely decriminalized in Catalonia, Spain takes a remarkably stricter stance toward CBD commerce due to the mandates it has received from the EU. This irony is, however, unlikely to affect individual CBD flower users in Spain. 

Can you get arrested for using CBD flower in Spain?

There are no laws in Spain that could lead to an arrest for possession of CBD-rich hemp flower. This nation’s remarkably lax drug policies apply to CBD-rich Cannabis sativa flower just as much as they apply to THC-rich varieties of this plant.

To further underscore Spain’s unusually allowing stance on personal drug use, there isn’t even a limit to the number of cannabis plants you can grow for your own personal use. In 2018, for instance, a Spanish man was acquitted by a judge after police found over 2,000 marijuana plants in his home. The police were found to have made the arrest wrongfully, and this case set a precedent for future cannabis possession charges in Spain.

Despite the fact that Spain’s import control authorities carefully inspect all incoming shipments of CBD products, there is no such oversight over cannabis users in Spain. If Spanish authorities, for whatever reason, asked you questions about the CBD flower in your possession, it would be the natural course of events to simply claim that it was cannabis for your own personal use. Most law enforcement officials in Spain would be satisfied with this explanation.

You should still observe caution when you use CBD flower in Spain, however. While using cannabis in private areas is fully legal in Catalonia and essentially legal in all other parts of Spain, public use of cannabis is still frowned upon. While penalties for public drug use under Spanish law are remarkably lenient, it is still technically against the law to smoke cannabis in public areas such as streets, restaurants, or parks.

Compared to laws in other parts of Europe, however, the Spanish stance on cannabis use is incredibly allowing. As long as you use CBD flower in Spain with discretion, you are unlikely to draw any attention. Instead, the smell of your hemp smoke will simply blend in with the aromas wafting out of your local area’s cannabis clubs.

Spain and the EU are evolving their stances on cannabis

Getting anything done in Europe is like herding cats. While the EU enjoyed a brief period of relative unity prior to 2010, stress cracks within this institution have been exacerbated by the separatist attitudes of member nations such as the UK, Italy, and Austria. As a result, the dictates of the European parliament are even less observed than they were before, and this governmental body’s laws and regulations have always been optional for member states to adopt or not.

Despite remaining one of the most notable EU-loyalist nations, Spain diverges from the viewpoints that Brussels hands down in a variety of ways. Most notably, Spain’s drug use policy is strictly at odds with that of the European Union, which posits that even marijuana shouldn’t be allowed for public consumption. In Spain, you can even possess dangerous drugs like methamphetamine as long as these substances are for your own personal use.

As a result, it’s no surprise that Spain has been reticent to come up with a firm stance on CBD flower, CBD oil, and related hemp-derived products. In addition to this nation’s status as one of the world’s most prominent cannabis exporters, Spain’s long-standing lax positions on drug possession make it hard to regulate a substance that, while non-intoxicating, bears such a striking resemblance to the marijuana that’s offered in more than 500 cannabis clubs across the nation.

Within a few short years, these problems may no longer exist. Immense funding continues to funnel into the cannabis industries of multiple European countries from abroad, and a growing groundswell of public support for recreational marijuana legalization is directing policy decisions throughout the continent. At this point, no European countries have legalized recreational marijuana, but multiple nations within the continent have either started or plan to start medical marijuana programs.

Barcelona and broader Catalonia remain Spain’s cultural epicenters, and what residents of Catalonia have, other Spaniards want. Due to its independent status, Catalonia was able to legalize cannabis before the rest of Spain, but Barcelona’s cultural undercurrents have a way of making their way throughout the wider nation.

Even after recreational or medical marijuana becomes legal in Spain or throughout the European Union, the unique problem of CBD will still need to be solved. Around the world, however, increasing general acceptance of Cannabis sativa has made CBD more legal and easier to access. The sooner that Spain adopts a comprehensive legislative stance on marijuana, the sooner this nation will come to grips with CBD and the benefits this non-intoxicating cannabinoid has to offer.

Should you use CBD flower in Spain?

As you’ve discovered in this guide, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use CBD flower in Spain. CBD tinctures, capsules, and other CBD oil products may be less legal to sell than THC-rich marijuana in this country, but this nation’s lax stance on cannabis will shield you from any potential prosecution for CBD flower possession.

The more pressing matter, however, is how you’ll get your hands on high-quality CBD-rich hemp in Spain. We never advise carrying hemp flower on overseas flights, and Spanish customs officials may inspect packages of CBD flower sent into the country. While some recreational shops in Catalonia and cannabis clubs throughout Spain sell CBD-rich cannabis strains, they usually contain THC as well, which might not be what you’re looking for.

As CBD laws in Spain and throughout the EU come to reflect the immense popular support for cannabidiol products of all shapes and sizes, getting your hands on high-quality CBD flower in Spain will become a walk in the park. Until then, visit the Secret Nature blog for more in-depth information on CBD, and contact us with any questions.
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