The end of the golden age of cannabis in Spain?
For the past 20 years, Spain has been a fairly tolerant territory when it comes to overall cannabis policies. It was a European country that seemed to be attractive in this sense since the early 2000s, with the birth of growshops and internationally renowned seed banks. Spain had then Cannabic fairs more and more numerous, as well as the appearance of "Cannabis Socials Clubs" in the four corners of the country, in particular in Barcelona where many amateurs of the plant came to make their cannabic pilgrimage. The flowers and CBD products have recently created a real tsunami. Recently, it seems that the Iberian panorama is changing and we are even witnessing a return to the past: but what is happening now in the land of Don Quixote?
The birth of the Spanish growshops
At the end of the 90s, a fairly exotic new phenomenon appeared on Iberian soil; Boutiques of a new kind saw the light of day: the Growshops. These Shops filled with all the equipment necessary to grow cannabis (lamps, ventilation systems, culture chambers, fertilizers, phytosanitary products, substrates, pots, seeds, books, etc.) which until then had only been seen in Holland, gradually arrived in Spain. They appeared and grew rapidly in number throughout the country. Most of them looked like small, untidy stores, with a somewhat mystical atmosphere inside. In reality, they were very warm places where any enthusiast could share his knowledge, his experiences, acquire material, genetics and spend pleasant moments in the company of numerous cannabiculturists, within this fabulous crossroads of meeting "in the old way". Let's remember that at that time Internet was not as democratized as today, these places were therefore real gold mines for the followers of this wonderful plant. The availability, both information relating to culture as well as products dedicated, was much rarer 20 years ago. This is how the growshops were an unprecedented success.
But for a few months, it would seem that certain growthshops, located all over the country, have been victims of interventions in the Guardia Civil, which hunts, among other things, to CBD flowers in these establishments. The authorities wish to verify that these floral tops respect the legal rate of 0, 2% THC, without taking into account the CBD content. The traceability of the origin of the products, the corresponding administrative documents or the accounts, are also the subject of verification and investigation. Some companies have also been accused of complicity in direct participation in drug trafficking, as is the case for a Almeria growshop, 18 of which were detained, including several employees. According to the version of the Spanish police, the Growshop had a direct relationship with drug traffickers and acted as " employees directly involved in the development of an illegal activity ». In this case, the charges selected against them constitute several crimes against public health as well as belonging to a criminal organization. The major problem is that there is a lack of legal regulation, which would allow each actor to know with precision the possibilities offered to them. It is obviously a dramatic deficiency of the current Spanish system, A market that has been tolerated for more than twenty years and which has reached a considerable size today. Unfortunately, it is not framed by any dedicated and adapted law. This is a tragic aspect for all players in the sector.
The appearance of Spanish seed banks
If we put things in context, at the time, the cannabic scene was largely dominated by the Dutch. We were at early 2000s, Amsterdam was undoubtedly the emblematic capital of recreational cannabis in Europe, "The place to be" at that time. Any passionate had to make a pilgrimage worthy of the name, in order to discover the mythical atmosphere of coffee shops Dutch during which they could succumb to the attractive menu of the products offered. Varieties names like Jack HERER, White Widow, Skunk#1, Super Skunk, Silver Pearl, Super Silver Haze, White Rhino, Orange Bud were well known and the growing word of mouth reflected, moreover, the growing attraction of the public. The most popular cannabis seed banks at the time were Sensi Seeds Bank, Dutch Passion, Mr Nice, Serious Seeds, Green House Seeds, KC Brains, Sagarmatha Seeds, Soma Seeds, Homegrown Fantasy Seeds and Nirvana. All these seed banks were exclusively Dutch.
This supremacy or monopoly lasted only a short time, because the success of Spanish growshops was such that the level of knowledge and experience of growers have quickly evolved throughout Spain. In addition, The Dutch political context unfortunately experienced an unfavorable turn from 2003-2004,with the appearance of a more repressive policy. This led to a sharp slowdown in the Dutch cannabis industry and the relocation of most Dutch companies to Spain. The Spanish were quick to react to the Dutch move and make the most of the opportunity. So much so that they have become great specialists in feminized cannabis seed, something that the Dutch had not yet managed to do at the time. This is how we saw the first banks of cannabis seeds appear in Spain, around 2005, with the birth of Dinafem, Sweet Seeds, Medical Seeds, Cannabiogen, Resin Seeds, Reggae Seeds, Eva Seeds, etc. It is good to know that the majority of these brands were originally created by entrepreneurs from growshops. Most of them practiced both activities together, since they were at the forefront of this market. The response from the market has exceeded all expectations, as most of these seed banks have been incredibly successful. The growth of some of them has been so strong and fast, that their popularity has become worldwide. It took place thanks to planetary internet development and a extremely strong demand. These Spanish companies have become real international references in this area. The legal trade in cannabis seeds in Spain was hitherto supported by a decision of the 2003 "Supremo Tribunal".
Stet Clita Kasd Gubergren
"The Spanish have become great specialists in feminized cannabis seed"
For the past 20 years, Spain has been a fairly tolerant territory when it comes to overall cannabis policies. It is a European country that seemed attractive in this sense, and this, since the beginning of the 2000s, with the birth of growshops and internationally renowned seed banks. Spain had then cannabic fairs more and more numerous, as well as the appearance of "Cannabis Socials Clubs" in the four corners of the country, in particular in Barcelona where many amateurs of the plant came to make their cannabic pilgrimage. The flowers and CBD products have recently created a real tsunami. Recently, it seems that the Iberian panorama is changing and we are even witnessing a return to the past: but what is happening now in the country of Don Quixote?
Today, one year after the events, the case is still under investigation, without further details. This means that their business model has worked for over 20 years, but despite their status as major players in the European cannabis industry, no one knows how things will turn out for other players in the same business. The staggering growth of these companies due to high demand and an exploding market, however, has not allowed for the establishment of a legal regulatory framework. And this is the root of the problem: you don't build an empire on a fragile foundation. The lack of political will in this direction demonstrates the fragility of the whole.