Is It Legal to Grow Cannabis in Spain?

Cannabis, also called marijuana, is a highly controversial substance in many countries around the globe. Illegal in many countries, there are many who would like it to remain that way and others who say that it should be legalized.

Is it legal to grow cannabis in Spain? The answer is no. Cannabis has been decriminalized for personal recreational use, but there are many restrictions in place, and it has not been legalized. In other words, grow and consume weed in Spain, and you might be arrested if you do it in the wrong place.

This article will concentrate on growing cannabis in Spain and the consequences of doing so.

Growing Cannabis in Spain for Personal Use

Growing marijuana in Spain at home for personal use is illegal; however, it has been decriminalized. It remains in the legal books in Spain that growing, and possession of marijuana is not allowed, but it has been decriminalized, meaning police officers turn a blind eye when they find people consuming or growing weed in private for their own use.

It also remains highly illegal to import plants, seeds, or plant clippings for cultivation into Spain from other countries or within Spain itself.  


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The Guidelines for Growing Cannabis in Spain

While growing cannabis in Spain is illegal, one will not be arrested and face criminal charges as long as they do so within the restrictions set by the state.

The sale and importation of any quantity of cannabis is a criminal offense, punishable by jail time. One may not import plants or seeds to grow their own marijuana, nor can one buy or sell them. This means that getting seed or clippings to grow a small marijuana garden is difficult and illegal. 

Cannabis plants may not be located anywhere visible from the street or public place, especially balconies, a popular place to grow cannabis in Spain. Doing so is considered a serious administrative offense, which can lead to a fine from 601-30,000 euros. 

Put plainly, purchasing, and growing marijuana in Spain is highly regulated and not legal in many circumstances.

Growing Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes in Spain

Growing cannabis for medicinal purposes in Spain is also highly restricted and was the first hint of legalization in the country. It is legal to possess and cultivate marijuana in Spain under certain restrictions and if one obtains a medical marijuana card.

Some of the restrictions include the law stating one may not consume weed in public areas or get a fine. Cultivation of cannabis plants in the person’s home is legal if the plants are not visible to the public. 


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The number of plants a person may possess is also regulated. People who have a medicinal marijuana card may cultivate and use insignificant amounts of marijuana. The exception to this rule is in Catalonia, where cannabis clubs produce as much as 150- 330 kilograms every year.

What Class Drug is Weed in Spain?

Weed seems like an innocuous and innocent drug, and indeed it can be when used responsibly, but in Spain, as in many other countries, the legality of growing it hangs in the balance because it needs to be reclassified.

Currently, marijuana in Spain is classified as a Class A narcotic under the same heading as drugs such as cocaine and heroin. 

Because cannabis is a class A narcotic, the law is clear that it is illegal to grow or consume. Only decriminalization has made it possible for Spanish citizens to imbibe. This is because, under article 36.18 of the gag law from 2015, a serious infraction such as planting and growing marijuana, which is considered a toxic, narcotic drug or psychotropic substance in places that are visible is illegal.

Size Doesn’t Matter

According to article 368 of the penal code in Spain reads as follows: 

“Those who carry out acts of cultivation, processing, or trafficking, or otherwise promote, favor, or facilitate the illegal consumption of toxic drugs, narcotic drugs, or psychotropic substances, or possess them for those purposes, will be punished with prison sentences of three to six years and a fine of three times the value of the drug subject to the offense if it is a matter of substances or products that cause serious damage to health, and imprisonment of one to three years and a fine of both in the other cases ”

Although growing marijuana plants in Spain is decriminalized, the law is ambiguous in that it seems to not matter the size of the cultivation but the possible use of it. 

For instance, a large plantation that raises more than 40 or 50 plants might be considered for self-consumption and therefore have no penalties. But a single plant raised by someone, if they sell their weed, can bring a hefty fine and jail time.

Decriminalized Versus Legalization

So, it becomes imperative to know the difference something that has been decriminalized and legalized. 

Decriminalization is when criminal penalties imposed for growing and using marijuana for personal use are loosened. Under decriminalization, law enforcement officers are instructed to look the other way when insignificant amounts of cannabis are discovered being used for personal use.

Under decriminalization, both the production and sale of marijuana remain unregulated, and those caught using it face civil fines rather than criminal charges.    

One may grow tiny amounts of marijuana plants so long as they are only used for personal use and within restrictive guidelines.

Planning on Moving to Spain? Grow Marijuana at Your Own Risk

There are many clubs and other venues where smoking cannabis is performed that non-citizens of Spain may use marijuana without getting into trouble. However, growing marijuana in Spain when you are not a citizen is a bit trickier.


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While growing plants for personal use is decriminalized, if a neighbour or competition gets angry with a foreign visitor, they could report them, and that means time in jail. Also, although people may be growing plants in the open and even smoking it where people can see, that does not mean someone from a place other than Spain can do the same. In fact, law enforcement might take exception to some noisy foreigners and either fine a hefty sum or arrest and jail them.

It is vital to remember if you are planning on growing cannabis in Spain, and you are not a citizen to keep your plants well out of the public view and to never sell the plants, seeds, or any other part of the plants you grow.

Remember, too, that transportation of weed across international borders can get one into serious trouble and bring time in prison plus horrifying fines. 

Other Facts About Growing Cannabis in Spain 

Clearly, while cannabis has been decriminalized in Spain, it is not legal. Growing marijuana in Spain will get one into trouble if one minds the rules and regulations imposed by the Spanish government. Smoking and growing cannabis on private property are not going to get anyone into trouble unless the weed plants are visible to the public.

As a side note, do not smoke weed in a car in a public parking lot as this will also bring a hefty fine and possibly jail time. 

Another fact to consider when visiting Spain is that the laws regarding marijuana in the country change with the changes in who is leading the government. A more conservative government may change the laws to take away the decriminalization of marijuana, so it pays to remain alert to what is going on in Spain’s government before travelling there.  


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Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

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