A Trip to Spannabis – Review

Spannabis ’24 was entertaining & informative but also, overcrowded and feels precariously close to price gouging.

Held in Barcelona, Spannabis is the European festival for lovers of the plant. Notable by their absence are the large clinics, pharmacies, lawyers and investors who attend a typical cannabis conference. Instead, the event is one of the largest meet-ups for legacy breeders & growers. It has 4 large halls full of vendors, who display everything from the latest grow equipment, vaping devices and merchandise. Plus panels, workshops and demos. It was great to catch up with so many brands too, such as PAX, Blazy Susan and Cannacarts.

However, it was heavily overcrowded, with long queues for food, beer and toilets. I understand that selling as many tickets as possible is the name of the game for a festival. But at some point, if squeezing in those extra few thousand people is to the detriment of the overall experience, then I feel the balance is wrong. Especially at a Cannabis event, where sitting down and chilling is an integral part of the day.

The City of Barcelona, with its wealth of cannabis clubs, plays an important role in the event too. We were told there are now over 1,000 clubs in the city. However, unless you look for them you wouldn’t know they were there. As the European model pivots more towards licensed clubs, it’s enlightening to see how these clubs operate. They’re extremely discreet, no external advertising, ‘airlock’ entrances and scrupulous about taking registration details to enable access. Once in, you can buy flower, vapes or rosin over the counter and consume within the club. It’s initially a strange feeling but you quickly get used to it, then wonder why it’s taking so long and so much money to roll-out similar clubs across Europe.

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