Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

‘Mexico will not finance US wall,’ foreign minister says

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

African nations need to prepare for potential return of thousands of jihadists

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo former child soldiers awarded $10 mn in damages in landmark ruling

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Website roots out "Rotten Apples"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Putin's press conference, Alabama election, One Planet Summit, Brexit Phase II, Disney & Fox

Read more

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

FOCUS

The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2017-04-29

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

In Spain, thanks to the success of the "clubs" that have cropped up since 2011, cannabis has become a gold mine. From by-products such as cannabis lollipops and drinks, to specialised clinics and tourism, an entire economy has flourished around the plant, even though its production remains illegal in Spain. Our reporters explored both the public and hidden side of this booming activity.

It all began in 2011, when cannabis lovers managed to exploit a flaw in Spain’s anti-smoking legislation allowing them to consume cannabis in enclosed and private spaces. The state has turned a blind eye to these non-profit associations, where only registered members have the right to smoke freely. Since then, "cannabis clubs" have flourished throughout Spain.

Today, there are as many as 700 of them across the country, bringing together hundreds of thousands of "associates" and handling millions of euros each year. From the sale of by-products to tourism and medicinal care, this "green gold" has generated an entire economy.

But the paradox is that cannabis production remains illegal in Spain. In order to supply the clubs’ members, creativity is a must. That's where we discovered the hidden side of this industry. In order for the clubs’ owners to open their doors to us and for the main industry players to agree to appear on camera, we had to gain their trust.

Most of the people we met are in their thirties and are fluent in the language of communications and marketing, perfectly aware of what can – and cannot – be shown and said on camera. Conscious of their contribution to the Spanish economy, they are now determined to use their full influence so that cannabis is legalised in Spain, just like in some US states such as Colorado. They have every hope that in this regard, Spain will become a model for the rest of Europe.

FRANCE 24’s reporters take you on a discovery of the little-known world of Spain’s legal cannabis business.

By Valérie LABONNE

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-12-15 Africa

Exclusive video: South Sudan, a cursed land

For the past four years South Sudan has been torn apart by civil war – and the situation in the country is desperate. Famine rages across all conflict zones and the first victims...

Read more

2017-12-08 Libya

Video: Trapped in Libya, migrants face torture and slavery

In the past few months, the number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean has shrunk drastically on the back of new migrant policies in Libya and Italy alike. Instead,...

Read more

2017-11-30 Americas

Video: Barbuda, an island paradise wiped out by Hurricane Irma

Three months ago, life on the Caribbean island of Barbuda, in the French West Indies, morphed into nothing short of a nightmare as Hurricane Irma swept in over its shores,...

Read more

2017-11-24 Americas

Video: Is Trump slamming door on Muslims' American Dream?

Since US President Donald Trump came to power, Muslim Americans say they feel increasingly unwelcome in their own country. According to critics, Trump’s executive orders banning...

Read more

2017-11-17 Middle East

Exclusive: From Tehran to Najaf, a pilgrimage fraught with danger

It’s one of the most dangerous pilgrimages in the world. Every year, despite the deadly menace of the Islamic State group, millions of Shiites make a pilgrimage to southern Iraq,...

Read more