We sat down recently with the owner of a local Cannabis Association in Barcelona to talk about COVID and its impact on the local cannabis ecosystem.
What is your biggest challenge these days?
Focusing on the future with good structure and planning. Learning from the past and staying open-minded about improving efficiency.
How are Cannabis Clubs impacted during the lockdown?
Unfortunately, not having any federal regulation gives cannabis associations no recourse as a public necessity. Of course, like everyone at this moment – we have bills to pay, so closing clubs is extreme. We could have dispensed to our members over this time and kept the smoking room closed, respecting quarantine like restaurants and supermarkets. But due to the interpretations of the function of a true Cannabis Association, we are not meant to dispense cannabis products outside the club. As we are in essence an extension of the private home which gives us our legitimacy. But in reality, most members do take their cannabis home. And as the Spanish government has ignored our industry’s existence, there is a vast workforce that will suffer the silent consequences of this hysterical and draconian overreaction to a virus.
Should cannabis be an essential service?
Some Cannabis Associations supply their members with a consistent level of quality, service, information, product range, and affordability. As a medical user and President of a cannabis Association maintaining my health with a terminal illness would be impossible if I depended on the supply from the Association over this time. Luckily I have self-cultivated for over 30 years, so I have meds. But not everyone has space or ability to do so. So of course, we are essential for people. Far more essential than tobacco stores being open.
How do you support your medical clients?
As a medical user who relies on using cannabis to maintain my health, it gives me deep deep sadness that we are making people sicker by denying them safe access to cannabis. I have not taken this responsibility lightly and have been providing a delivery service over the quarantine period to members in need. This whole quarantine due to the Coronavirus, and Spain’s soaring death rate, are a direct reflection of how sick and unhealthy our society has become. People have no idea at all how to maintain their health without vaccines or pharmaceutical inputs. Humanity has become so ignorant and controlled that people have absolutely no idea or care what they put in their bodies as long as everyone else does the same. And I need to be impacted by the vast ignorance of the many, really pisses me off. And gives me little hope for the future here. So it has inspired me to push on and diversify access to our patients and members over this time of extreme control.
How does the lockdown impact growing?
In terms of cultivating cannabis for the experienced ones anyway, this will continue as normal. As long as people can access materials for cultivation online the GROW must go on. As hardcore cannabis cultivators and activists, we are used to working covertly and are highly adaptable and supportive of our fellow growers. It may slow things a little but it will give all the growers plenty of time to spend with their lovely stinky sticky ladies before we kill them. There’s going to be plenty of beautiful flowers when things return to normal, whenever or whatever that may be.
What has inspired you in the last week?
To be honest, inspiration has come from an unknown vision of survival in the future. The fact that the Spanish government has imposed strict control of movement has inspired me to work around it in any way possible and not waiting for things to change. Acting, planning, and execution during this time, even if more restrictive and challenging should be our focus. And my main inspiration and focus have been to provide a much limited, very dangerous and appreciated service to some of our members.
Will this have a lasting impact on the cannabis industry?
Remember there is no cannabis industry in Spain. Cannabis Associations are just an extension of the private home and that’s how we are viewed. But in reality, we are a thriving industry employing many people in cultivation, dispensary, processing, infused products, extractions, transport, marketing, and events. And the impact will be immediate, but as in the past, cannabis has and always will remain a staple of the people. The grow must go on. I think for some of the bigger canna players the future markets may evolve slower. And if the Spanish government had half a brain they would regulate and tax all cannabis associations and their cultivation’s after the pharmaceutical companies take their share first.
What advice do you have for other cannabis businesses?
Other cannabis businesses will evolve to the needs of their local markets. But who knows what will happen in different regions of the globe after this plays out.
What is the first thing you want to do when this is over?
After this, I am going to have a huge party at the cannabis Association with all our members.
Months from now, what will we have learned from all this?
Months from now we are hopefully all going to learn how to maintain our health without the reliance of vaccines and pharmaceutical inputs. And realize we are what we put in on and around our body. And maybe we might realize that being a producer is vital if nobody else can access or obtain goods in our own countries or homes. 11.
Grow big, grow hard, always resist
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