There are a number of coffee shops or cannabis social clubs (CSC) in Madrid, the basic difference between an Amsterdam coffee shop and a Madrid CSC is the method of ‘getting in’, Madrid CSCs are private associations, whose members have a a mutual interest — cannabis, so to be allowed to enter and take part in the acitivities you have to be member, and as with any club you have to qualify for membership. Understand the rules (statutes) of the club and abide by them, as it is a private club any behaviour by a particular member can be detremental to the club as a whole. So even if you are a visitor and manage to obtain entrance you should observe the rules of each club and abide by them as its in the general interest of the other members and your friends to do so.
So how do you join a Madrid cannabis club, as we have explained they are private associations. You cannot just walk in off the Street. You should be sponsored by a member of the club. In the first place you must be over 21 to join most clubs. You will need to complete a registration form. There may be a selection process, if their quota of membership is full. What should you pay? As the associations are private clubs and they rely on membership fees to help cover costs, most clubs will charge a registration fee (depending on the club should be around 30€ to register and then a monthly quota of around 8€).
When you become a member you will be allowed to withdraw 99gms per month from the club. One point to note here is that you reimburse the club for any products that are withdrawn from the dispensary, the clubs don’t and can’t sell you anything, you are simply reimbursing the club for your share of the marijuana. You are not buying it, in fact many clubs are very strict on the language used ie at the dispensary you should always ask to withdraw never buy.
Now you’re a member you are invited to consume what you’ve withdrawn from the dispensary, but what if youo don’t use it all up and want to take some out of the club. The club has to tell you you can’t, as posession of cannabis in a public place (ie the Street) is illegal. However, many people do take products out of the associations and the advice is to put it in your undergarments, as should you be unlucky enough to get stopped (the police wont normally do more than a superficial search) for the good of the club and the other members who rely on it, please don’t say you obtained the substance in a club. But in general be aware that consumption and posession of small quantities in public is an administrative offense (not criminal so its like a traffic ticket), the fine can run from around 600€, so its worth being a bit discreet and careful.
Most clubs will process your application on the spot, so apart from the time taken for the formalities you should be up and running with your product fairly quickly.
Remember that you will need your ID not only for the original interview but every time you return to the club, as well as the membership card or key.