Tag Archives: spain

Spannabis Hemp Expo

WITH ITS warm, sunny climate and relaxed laws, Spain produces some of the world’s best weed and is now the biggest market for legal cannabis seed sales. The world’s largest cannabis and hemp trade fair, known as Spannabis, is held in Barcelona every February.

Spannabis features over 200 stalls and exhibitors of everything to do with cannabis, including hemp products, the latest hydro systems and grow gear, nutrients, marijuana magazines and law reform organisations, a huge number of seed companies, as well as bong merchants, grinder developers and more marijuana-related stuff than you could shake a spliff at. Spannabis is a great place to check out the latest developments, compare heaps of seed strains all in one place with the low down from the company owners and breeders, meet fellow potheads from throughout the world, and generally enjoy the laid back Spanish pot scene. It truly is an extravaganja!

I had arrived after a marathon series of flights and trains via Dubai and Paris. The expo hall was located in the depths of an industrial zone on the outskirts of the city and finding it was quite a mission. Eventually, the freaks began to outnumber the straights and I knew it must be near. A long line twisted out the front door for all of the three days the expo ran – organisers estimated the head count at 18,000 people. The interior had already filled with a sweet marijuana haze, and it was only for the first few hours that a lone security guard kept up the pretence of telling people to stub out their fat euro-style spliffs.

Over at the T.H.Seeds booth Adam had samples of Dark Star, the newest addition to their range. It’s a full indica that tested at 23 per cent THC at the last Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. It was so strong, he said it sedated the judges too much to vote for it. This required verification of course!

Doug from HempHoodLamb showed off their new artic-canno range of jackets and said they had supplied Paul Watson of the Sea Shepard a custom bullet-proof version to help in their fight against the Japanese whaling in the Southern ocean.

Horticultural lighting company Lumatek ran a super-sweet VIP booth, up high over the crowds. It was a great place to chill out, share a laugh and uh, “network” with booth holders.

SPANNABIS 2010 AWARDS

BEST SEEDS – PYRAMID SEEDS
BEST STAND – LUMATEK GOLD LABEL
BEST PARAPHERNALIA PRODUCT – 00BOX
BEST HYDROPONIC PRODUCT – GENERAL
HYDROPONICS
BEST GROW PRODUCT – HUMBOLDT
NUTRIENTS, LÍNEA ORGÁNIC

The grow scene was heavily represented, with a massive variety of nutrients, grow tents, digital ballasts, infra-red proof wall linings, blade-less fans, as well as dozens of local cannabis seed
companies.

The guys at Humboldt Nutrients had a great range of specialisd products, while Dutch nutrient co Canna didn’t have anything for sale – their massive booth was actually a free bar as well as a THC testing service. Unlike the pee-in-a-cup kind we get here, they tested people’s favourite herb samples for THC and terpene content with a mobile GCMS machine and laboratory, the idea being to build up a database of cannabis strains to assist their development of even better products.

“Curro Knnabinoide” of the popular Spanish cannabis forum cannabiscafe.net told me that over the past twenty years there had been a big change to local home grown over imported Moroccan hash. Most Spanish smokers abide by a “homegrown” ethos meaning they grow their own and they neither buy nor sell it. I had noticed that this means there is plenty of excellent herb to share but comparatively little for sale, and for tourists (like me) scoring is surprisingly difficult. Still, that was not necessary when there were so many kind herby folk about, only too willing to show off their latest homegrown effort, or a seed company promoter trying to tempt you with their latest strain…

GROWING IN SPAIN

Spaniards have the luxury of being able to grow outdoors all year round. The feminised and autoflowering strains that have revolutionised growing around the world have had an even bigger impact on Spain, where seeds are legal. Spanish growers can just pop a feminised auto-flowering seed in the ground any time of the year, and come back in a certain number of days. The most popular local strain is Critical from Dinafem while Eva, Pyramid and Sweet Seeds are also huge. The relaxed legal environment means growing at home is really easy and safe for anyone to do, and it is not unusual to see healthy plants on people’s balconies. Hola!

See spannabis.com

[Originally published in NORML News Winter/Spring 2010]

Note: importing or possessing cannabis seed, or cultivating cannabis, is illegal in New Zealand.

France and Spain

By Chris Fowlie, President, NORML New Zealand, 2002

Leaving the land of the free

After the Amsterdam parade, I travelled through France to Spain, and noticed an instant and dramatic drop in quality. As the law changed from tolerant to intolerant, the hash went from soft and fudgey to hard and black. This cannot be good for the health of millions of cannabis consumers in these countries.

France is often thought of as one of the most prohibitionist countries in Europe, but under recent governments they have in fact been quietly moving toward a more tolerant policy over the past few years. That said, it’s still a real come-down after the Netherlands and about the only highlight for a pot smoking tour of Paris – aside from the opportunity to smoke a joint at Jim Morrison’s grave or up the Eiffel tower, as I did – is the Musee du Fumeur or Smoking Museum. They have a great selection of books (if you can read French) and several live plants in a grow room.

Musee de fumar, Paris Musee de fumar growroom

What got me excited however, was a new French cannabis-orientated CD compilation called Cannabissimo. The beginning of track 7 features a reefer madness quote sampled from John Banks of all people, recorded at the ALCP’s Smoke-out the Beehive parliamentary session that kicked off our 1996 campaign. It was such a bizarre synchronicity I had to buy the CD.

Chris toking in spain I headed to Barcelona in Spain where the sun shines and cannabis is effectively decriminalised. Like many countries, the law still says marijuana is illegal but personal amounts and up to 5 plants are tolerated. The scene is a lot more relaxed and few people are paranoid about smoking or growing. Cannabis seeds are legal and so all the grow stores sell them. The cannabis-related industry in Spain does seem very big, with nationwide chains of grow and pipe stores. There is also helpful graffiti on many walls; black squares warn where police cameras are operating and weed leafs adorn dealing areas.

Moroccan hash in SpainA huge amount of hash comes through Spain but most is not good enough to be sold in the Dutch coffeeshops so it is turned into “soap bars”, which are notorious for being made with anything from engine oil to sand, and then sent to other countries that don’t have coffeeshops.

I bought some nice soft hash from a traditional Maroccan tea shop and went to a place called the Down Beat Reggae Club. The Nyahbingi Sound System played with an ensemble of brass and MCs and it was very irie indeed. On my way back I walked past a cop searching someone and it reminded me of what had happened to me on K Rd exactly a year ago and had eventually brought me here now. “Is this xocolát?” asked the cop, pointing to a small lump in his hand (they call hash chocolate). I didn’t linger to find out what happened, but it reminded me that a tolerance policy is only as good as the individual police who choose to enforce the law or not.

I crossed back over the channel and away from the Spanish sun to visit the Dutch Experience, the UK’s first genuine coffeeshop located in Stockport, near Manchester.