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    cannabis social clubs

    Social Dimension of Cannabis Social Clubs


    Who is in, for How Long and What for. Exploring the Social Dimension of Cannabis Social Clubs in Barcelona, 2017-2020

    Anna Obradors-Pineda, José Carlos Bouso, Joan Colom, and Jakob Manthey.

    Journal of Drug Issues



    About the study

    This study delves into the demographics, behaviors, and social dynamics of members of Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) in Barcelona from 2017 to 2020. Analyzing data from 2007 members across five CSCs, it reveals that most members are young men, with an average age of 36.1 years, and shows gender differences in cannabis procurement patterns. The study also highlights the longer membership duration among women, older adults, and medical users, despite their lower cannabis use compared to young, recreational male members.

    Key findings include the average daily cannabis use of 0.44 grams, with men procuring more than women, and members visiting CSCs approximately once a week. The average membership duration was around 1 year and 10 months, with longer memberships observed among men, older members, and residents living near the CSCs. Importantly, the study underscores the role of CSCs as social spaces beyond mere cannabis procurement, noting that they foster community building and harm reduction.

    The study concludes that CSCs in Barcelona serve as more than just cannabis supply points; they are crucial for community care and socializing. Despite the unstable legal status of CSCs in Spain, which poses challenges for their operation, the research highlights their potential in harm reduction and community well-being. This comprehensive analysis contributes significantly to understanding the CSC model, especially in terms of its social dimension.

    The study, conducted by Anna Obradors for her doctorate at the University Rovira i Virgili (URV) and within the framework of the Catalan Federation of Associations, received essential support from ICEERS’ Scientific Director, José Carlos Bouso, in the conceptualization and analysis, and from Jakob Manthey in the technical aspect of statistical application. The Public Health Agency (l’Agència de Salut Pública) also collaborated through Joan Colom.



    Analyzing the activity data of 2007 Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) members in Barcelona between 2017 and 2020 we describe the demographics, the amounts of cannabis collected (.46 g/day amongst men; .37 for woman) and the relationships established with the CSCs: frequency of procurement (every 15.4 days for woman; 11.6 days for men); and membership length (mean 657.3 days). An 80% of members were men (mean 36.1 years old). Women, older adults, and those registered as medical users had generally longer memberships than the average despite the frequencies and the amounts procured by them tended to be lower compared to young recreational male members. The daily amount used rose from an estimated general average of .44 g, to an estimated 1.41–4.76 g collected by a 5% of CSC members. Beyond providing small amounts of cannabis, CSCs are mainly used as socializing spaces for people who use cannabis.


    Link to the study


    Contact ICEERS Research team


    Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

    Categories: Studies & papers , Cannabis
    Tags: harm reduction , cannabis associations , cannabis , scientific research , study , Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC)