Cannabis Associations, an offence against public health?

“The Highest Court here in Spain, The Supreme Court, has just issued a resolution declaring guilty the members of a Cannabis Association for an offence against public health (drug offences). Some will be aware.

This resolution is not even public yet, but it will be within the next few days. The resolution changes the criteria about shared consumption which was followed by the most of the Courts previously. Actually in this case, a High Court in the Basque Country had declared them innocent and after the prosecutor challenged it, the Highest Court has issued this resolution.

So far, most resolutions declare members innocent. This is the first resolution from the Supreme Court and it is extremely important. According to news, the Supreme Court states that this resolution is only regarding that specific club in the Basque Country and does not extend to all clubs, but it is odd because the decisions of the Supreme Court is followed by all Courts.

After the resolution is issued and made public, we will study it in the office and I will send you a summary.”

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Creation of Medical Cannabis Association Malaga Update

I received lots of positive vibes and well wishes concerning us opening a new medically focused association down here in Malaga province and many people have asked me if it’s possible for me to keep a diary of sorts about the application process itself and our ongoing progress from start to finish; so this is the next update in this ‘series’ as it were.

So I suggested that we would officially start proceedings this week. I had several communications with the lawyer via phone and emails etc but the time came when they actually needed paying for their services. I have made no secret to the fact that I am pretty skint cash-flow wise and therefore asked one or two people to come on board initially with just a cple of k each. With them flying out this week to help with this project meant I had to find the first payment for the lawyer from my own living expenses with the hope that the ‘investor’ partners pay me back their share on arrival. The lawyer was good enough to offer an instalment solution and so I paid the initial deposit into their bank 3 day before the meeting to ensure it paid in time. This was the lawyers retired procedure.

My ‘partner’ flew in and yesterday we went and met the lawyer together. We started the initial proceedings and they required several bits of information. Namely; names of founder board members, in our case for the role of president, secretary and treasurer. At this early stage we are able to juggle the set up if we need to and if our plans suggest we might be better with different people in different roles.. Yours truly is naturally the president in this set up.

Other information requested, the address of the association.. With this situation we are intending to wait for our ‘fiscal’ number (association number) before we then rent a property in the name of the association rather than in the any individuals name. This has been a recommendation from FAC. Obviously then at this stage I have to use my own address with a view to changing this in the near future to the new property renting in the associations name… This may or not be a challenge in itself depending upon the liberal (or not) views of the potential ‘landlords’.

We were also asked for the bank we will be using.. We have not decided yet, I wish to speak to a couple of banks about what we are doing and see if any bank offers a more personal or beneficial service. So this is info I have to send next week.

Perhaps there were one or two other things needed but those were the initial main ones. We also clarified certain potential situations that may appear in the future. Like changing details or properties or office related or tax related etc. Much of it is common business sense and I don’t see this enterprise as much different to any other properly run business, the same principles apply and we have every intention of dotting every I and crossing every t so there are never any questions relating to how we are operating.

The ‘guidelines’ are only guidelines but sometimes it is obvious what the government would like to achieve and what it wants to avoid. There have been many clubs close down because they err on the side of risk rather than caution.. For example, associations exist because we create them in a way that makes them a private enterprise that acts with discretion. Opening a club in a central public area naturally puts it in the public domain in the eyes of some bureaucrats and many times I do see their points. Its not really that private if its in the high street is it? Also touting on the streets for members has happened a lot and to me I understand that really this is not much different to the black market which is the very thing we are trying to avoid. Also getting new members to all put the largest amount per month of product required even if they require less, because this gives more theoretical allowance for the amount of produce the club an produce.. After these large harvests, the members are transient or do not require that much meds or they cannot afford that much meds at the clubs prices and then the club is left with a big pile of cannabis lying around which opens up all sorts of issues. From temptation to sell this overstock by the back door to simply having to jiggle your numbers to try and stay within the financial guidelines. So there are many reasons to do things properly and realistically and experience of seeing others will hopefully mean we avoid many of these mistakes.

The proposed guidelines are definitely heading towards residents only. Therefore our own association will be put in for Malaga province and our members will have to reside here in Malaga province. A lot of my enquiries come from all over Europe so this is an area I envisage a lot of attention, working with and against the guidelines to try and help others where needed to but at this point that is the way things are going so members WILL need an available address here in Malaga province.

It is possible that we might get this fiscal number within 6 weeks because they lawyers I am using are more experienced with non profits and associations than they are with cannabis laws. This is the way I preferred it because I want it run professionally but our lawyers ARE taking guidance from cannabis experienced lawyer in Barcelona.

There are several medical experts that potentially may come on board once we reach a certain point. I suppose the point when we can afford to give them a work contract. When I say experts I mean people like doctors and professors who have worked officially with the plant in various countries and worked directly with patients including children, real experts above my skill sets, people who can expand my own knowledge in lab type environments. We are after all going to be genuinely medically focused and try to expand the research done in several areas.

It really is looking as though we can go the direction I want, a non social non smoking office classroom type environment where we can educate and advice.

Speak to you soon!