I’m full of anticipation writing this. I’m about to spend a month in Barcelona, and it is oh so much more complicated this third visit. This visit which won’t involve any Barcelona Cannabis Social Clubs. They won’t be a part of this visit, for so many reasons. Socializing may be at a minimum. Whereas my last two visits, they were all about the Barcelona Cannabis Social Clubs.
Barcelona Cannabis Social Clubs 2017
It’s my first time in Barcelona and I am in love with the city. It is all about the people I meet.
I’m walking towards the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Barcelona, which turns out to be a strikingly good one. I expect it to be like most of the sex museums in the world, all tittilation no substance. But there are surprisingly few titties and loads of information.
But, this is before I get to the museum. My path is blocked by a human tourist trap, which, finally, turns out to be one well-set for me. Perhaps the best tout ever. A guy in a British accent and a fur hat, who clearly needs money for other, more physically addictive substances is suddenly at my service.
“Would you like some marijuana, perchance, I know a place where you can smoke it.” he says, with a slight bow.
Far be it from my to say no to that question.
Believe it or not, this is how I learn about Barcelona Cannabis Social Clubs in 2017-2019. The details of any other period in Barcelona cannabis history escape me. I hear that they’ve been gutted by the plague and politics. I don’t want to know, really.
But this is late 2017 and I am not afraid to tell anyone what I want.
“No, I don’t want marijuana. I want oil. Live resin.” I say.
“No need for profiling. I don’t need to stay long in this seedy-ass place that has what I want, do I?” I ask.
He smiles, realizing he’s hooked a good one.
And so I follow this British dude in his Davy Crockett hat down the twisting alleys of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. Stones set at angles that make me feel as though the city is caving in on me.
The Olde Worlde gives me an uneasy feeling, but the familiar walk behind some dude for a drug deal in some place soothes it.
And there is a corrugated shutter and he raps on it, and a small door opens behind it, and they raise the shutter some. I duck and follow him inside, eyes adjusting to the dimmer lighting.
“Get her that live resin you have, and give her a good price.” He says to a woman standing behind a desk with a laptop on it. The guy opening the door hands him some money. I hear him checking on Davy, making sure things are okay. I’m glad there’s some kind of gig for him, and that I got him paid today.
“Do you have your passport?” she asks me, in an accent that suggests she’s a local.
“I do.” I say, brandishing it, as I always do, like the weapon it is.
Some paperwork and data entry later, and I’m being let into a back room. Here I see other USAmericans. Definitely a seedy joint.
There’s a giant TV with American football on. Looks like a sports bar, only with dingy couches and a few people with nowhere else to go. The room is filled with weed smoke.
To my right is a small window into another room, and this is where I buy my product. He shows me two different grams of delicious, clean, terpy live resin. I buy a gram and a half of the better one, and ask if they have dab rigs.
They do have dab rigs.
The back counter sells alcohol, snacks, and lets you borrow clean bongs, rigs, and pipes.
Technically – it’s a social club, and that’s why it’s legal. There’s some grey area about membership and sponsorship of foreigners to be members… Grey upon grey.
I’m at once completely sold on the idea and really annoyed that somehow no one I know mentioned this when they heard I was going to be in Barcelona. I am sure there are better clubs than the one I’m in, so I take a couple dabs and head out.
I’m incredibly high for the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, and most of my sightseeing in Barcelona.
I come back to the USAmerican club once, to re-up on the fancy live resin I bought, because I really don’t find any better in Barcelona. While there, I meet a couple. One of them is from Istanbul, and the other from Mexico. We talk about life and travel. I ask the Turk how things are in Turkey right now, if it’s a good time to visit. Little do I know that I’ll be married in Istanbul in under a year.
What follows is a speech about economic imperialism and the evil American machine, and how we have destroyed Turkey. There’s a silence when he gets off his soapbox, which his partner gracefully ends with:
“Great food, though!”
And then I frequent other clubs, which is expensive, because they all require a membership fee for one’s first visit. Eventually I settle on one called Hash Oil Club, even if they don’t actually specialize in hash oil, and they don’t have anything better than what I bought from the USAmericans.
However, the social scene is better. There’s people playing everything from Call of Duty to Mancala. There’s music, there’s pool, there’s coffee, snacks, books, someone constantly cleaning, and conversation… It’s humble. It smells good. I like the vibe. They all have something to offer, but what I want most is a comfortable place to hang out, and good people around me. This place provides all that.
After coming in daily for a couple days, becoming an instant regular, and having them lend me their e-rig for some sweet, temperature controlled dabs, the budtender Snoopy recommends that I should meet MacGyver.
“Who is MacGyver?” I ask.
“This is MacGyver.” he says, sliding a book full of photos of giant grows across the bar. It’s a German grow book. It reminds me of the US grow bible by Jorge Cervantes. Just kind of what everyone uses. I am impressed that MacGyver’s book has been out since the early 2000’s. That’s the stone(d) age, for Europe.
“Why do I need to meet MacGyver?” I ask.
“You’ll see.” he says.
Three days later I’m sitting at the e-nail again and a bald, loud, myopic German in a trench coat comes in and sits at the bar, asking for a pack of papers. He rolls a cigarette, and then removes a silicone case from his inner pocket with 12 different kinds of homemade cannabis concentrates in it, and uses a combination of three of them to seal his cigarette.
“You must be MacGyver.” I say, pointing to the book, now sitting between a set of marble bookends on the bar.
He looks me up and down and then notices the rig.
“Dabs, huh.” he says, with a slight smile.
“I’m Zoe.” I say. We shake hands.
He then talks at me about concentrates and cannabis in Europe for a few hours. MacGyver tells me how he has an EU opiates pass that allows him to carry concentrates all over Europe, in a way I gather is only as legal as he can use it to talk law enforcement officers out of checking it. He says they don’t.
It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship where whenever I see or talk to him he just throws his presence at me and it’s always interesting. He’s a hacker, troublemaker, outlaw, brilliant and manages insanely large grow systems and manufactures steel extraction machinery for industrial scale cannabis concentrating.
Indeed. Snoopy is correct. I had to meet MacGyver. He’s unforgiving and ruthless and brilliant and thinks that his taste applies to the rest of the world. Thoroughly incapable of seeing things through anyone’s perspective but his own.
To that end, ironically, he doesn’t make great concentrates.
It’s not that he isn’t precise – it’s what he starts with. Primarily indica, and always trim. He prides himself on making oil from trim, but it tastes nasty and is missing any kind of terpene profile that distinguishes one batch from the next. It’s too concentrated. I’m glad I have my own after taking a few dabs of his.
A few days later I’m back at the same Cannabis Social Club with my (Grand) Canarian host, a character in his own right. He’s a laid back trustifarian who is currently into the Wim Hof method, but just, like, the breathing part. The cold is too extreme for him. He spends his days doing that and getting high and hanging out with friends. He’s clean cut and a bit distant and into NLP, and as well he is a cutthroat digital marketer, of course.
We’re all high, listening to trance music at my request for something electronic. We’re hanging with some other wholesome, clean cut, rich hippie folks in my host’s friend group, and I’m again being talked at by MacGyver at the bar.
My host starts a game of Uno and I go to join the other group for a moment away from information bombardment, and my host yells across the room.
“MacGyver! Do you want to play Uno?”
This line will make me laugh for years, it’s a joke unto itself. It is its own punchline.
MacGyer turns down the invitation, ending my Felliniesque dissociation. I win the round of Uno.
In Madrid I also convince my way into a Cannabis Social Club. It’s much the same scene, though it does seem I’m consistently the only woman there. It’s not so much of a grey area outside of Barcelona. More of a black area. Madrid has far fewer clubs and foreigners are not supposed to be admitted. I contact someone who contacts someone who contacts someone.
Their concentrates are local, though the strains all come from California. They’re good, and when I leave town I gift the rest of the gram I bought to the one Swedish guy who has enough guts to sit next to me in a room full of other men who just stare.
Barcelona Cannabis Social Clubs 2019
I come back to Barcelona because I love it, and also because I have a plan to buy concentrates off of MacGyver in bulk and transport them in my pussy to my friend’s villa somewhere in Le Var, France (the villa which I have lovingly named La Vache Qui Rit).
After my heartbreak of meeting and losing Favorite, I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to dab away the pain in local Barcelona Cannabis Social Clubs. I’m too distraught to really meet anyone. I notice that the clubs are more streamlined, there are more of them overall, and the product is better on average. I solely visit new clubs, though they all seem to have changed names, ownership, or location anyway.
One club gives me a key fob that gets me in the door, and when I pay the membership at a second club they go to hand me another one. When they see me start to put it onto the keychain next to an identical one of a different color – they offer to just program that one to work for their door as well. Now I have a multi-Barcelona Cannabis Social Club-fob. This integration of technology with grey area cannabis scenes makes me smile, for a minute.
And then my heartbreak takes over again. I eat too much cheese. I see a diverse set of people, but I’m too glum to meet them.
Even through my gloom, I appreciate this social aspect of the Spanish/Catalonian Cannabis scene above all others. Being required to get off one’s couch and go to a place where sticking around and socializing is incentivized (but not required, you can still get your cannabis and leave) is a plus in my book. That the scene has so many different variations on the theme of a social club seems more functional and like its own thing, and not a copy of alcohol or coffeehouse culture.
It is, in fact, the only truly social cannabis scene I’ve experienced in the world. And for that, I give it a big thumbs up, and it makes me all the more sad to hear that the brief and lovely days of doing drugs with new, wild friends may be over.
The Stories of meeting Favorite in Barcelona: