It would also position Spain firmly as leader in the European cannabis industry, and ideally placed to supply cannabis to the rest of Europe’s expanding medical cannabis (and future recreational cannabis) scene.
The report coincided with the legalisation of recreational cannabis in Canada, and appeals to many in Spain who feel that wider European cannabis legalisation is inevitable. So why not put Spain at the heart of it and take the lead in legalisation?
One of the key messages in the report is that a legal recreational cannabis market in Spain would remove massive revenue streams from the black market.
These criminal revenue streams are currently tax-free and may even be used to amplify other black-market activities in some cases. Instead, the revenues would flow into the mainstream economy creating total taxes (including income tax from new jobs) at over €3 Billion.
There would be other benefits too: 100,000 jobs would also be created initially.
These would be good stable jobs with pensions, training and future opportunities in a country where youth unemployment is still around 30%.
But the industry, revenues and job growth could be even higher if it positions Spain as the leader in the new European ‘canna’ economy.
Growth of the cannabis industry in Canada and the legal US states has often exceeded even the most ambitious forecasts.
If this happened in Europe, the first country with a legal cannabis economy would be set to gain the most from export opportunities.
The report was authored by David Pere Martínez Oró from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and it assumes a model similar to Canada which would allow for legal small scale home cultivation.
The report also allows for the continued use of the cannabis social club system, a popular Spanish non-profit system designed to allow members to grow cannabis collectively for mutual consumption.
The sunny Spanish climate is also one of Europe’s most suited for cannabis cultivation, and would allow low cost greenhouse/outdoor/polytunnel growing. This can be done at the fraction of the cost of indoor cultivation which would be required in more northern European countries.
This gives the Spanish a natural advantage when it comes to cultivation costs.
And if the Spanish could establish themselves as the first EU country to legalize cannabis, they could be in pole position to dominate all future sales for years to come. After all, few countries enjoy the same climate for cannabis growing and few would be able to compete on cost grounds.
For example, northern European countries (even if they subsequently legalized cannabis) would struggle to produce cannabis indoors at anything like the same costs that Spain could produce outdoors or in poly tunnels.
Up to 3 successive crops of autoflower seeds can be achieved in warmer parts of Spain. Many Spanish outdoor growers prefer to grow with autoflower seeds for the speed of growth. But feminized seeds would allow just a single crop each year.
One of the main advantages of Spain attempting to become the EU cannabis hub is the great climate for agriculture.