What is a Cannabis Social Club?

On the Encod General Assembly in Bermeo, Spain, from 21 to 23 June 2013, the following set of principles was agreed to define the concept of a Cannabis Social Club

Cannabis Social Clubs are set up to protect the rights of cannabis consumers and producers and help establish cannabis policies that benefit society as a whole.

Cannabis Social Clubs, what are they? what is a CSC?

Cannabis Social Clubs consist of members, adult citizens who organise the cultivation of a limited amount of cannabis to satisfy their personal needs. Thus a closed circuit is established between producers and consumers, where certain requirements are met concerning health, safety, transparency and accountability.

The concrete form and ways of operating of a Cannabis Social Club depend on the legal, political and cultural standards in the country in which it is established. However, there are some basic principles and attitudes which all Cannabis Social Clubs adhere to and which distinguish them from other kinds of initiatives.

1. Supply follows demand, not vice versa

The production capacity of a CSC is based on the expected level of the consumption of its members. The supply is organised in order to meet the demand of the members, not vice versa.

2. Non-profitability

Cannabis Social Clubs are non-profit associations. The financial benefits that may be obtained by the association and that derive from economic activities, are used to promote the goals of the association, and not distributed among the members. CSC’s aim to generate legal employment and produce goods and services in a taxable way.

3. Transparency

Cannabis Social Clubs are legally registered associations. Their internal organisation is democratic and participative. The decision-making body is the Annual General Assembly, to which all members are invited to attend. Each member has one vote.

On the AG, a narrative and financial report of the activities of the association in the preceding year should be presented and approved, as well as a plan for the following year.

CSC’s maintain a record of their activities, which is easily consultable by members, other CSC’s or authorities. This includes financial accountability, an (anonymized) registration of members and their consumption, and an (anonymized) registration of production.

4. Public health oriented

Cannabis Social Clubs only use methods of cultivation that meet the standards of organic agriculture. They develop an effective policy of prevention of problematic use of cannabis and promote safe and responsible use. This includes providing members with factual information on cannabis/hemp. They elaborate research into health aspects of the cannabis that they produce and inform their members on the results of this research.

5. Open to dialogue with authorities

Cannabis Social Clubs are willing to engage in any kind of dialogue with authorities, and implement an active policy to invite authorities to this dialogue.