As cannabis legalization reforms are underway, there is some concern that non-profit, ‘middle ground’ options may remain under-researched and thus less visible. This book offers an in-depth account of one of the possible ‘middle ground’ models for the supply of cannabis: the Cannabis Social Club.

Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) are typically formal, non-profit associations of adult cannabis users who produce and distribute that substance close to or at cost price among themselves. They constitute an user-driven model for the supply of cannabis. In most jurisdictions, CSCs remain a grass roots, unregulated initiative of groups of users, but the model has been legalized in Uruguay and Malta, and it has featured recent debates and legislative proposals in other countries. This book brings together contributions from internationally respected scholars, drawing on case studies, empirical findings and policy reflections, from a range of countries (such as Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Uruguay, USA), and a consideration of the CSC model from different disciplinary backgrounds. Part one provides detailed analysis of where and how CSCs have been operating, and a critical analysis of their key features and relationship with institutional actors. Part two discusses several policy outcomes and proposes a design of a regulatory market, as well as considering whether the CSC model might be suited for adaptation to the supply of other substances.

The Cannabis Social Club is important reading for academics in the fields of drug policy analysis, criminology, economics, policy studies and anthropology. It will also be of interest to policy makers, journalists, law-enforcement personnel.

chapter 1|17 pages


30 years of Cannabis Social Clubs: looking back and looking ahead

chapter 2|21 pages

Part 1 Cannabis Social Clubs in Europe

A transnational social movement network in the making?

chapter 5|20 pages

The Spanish Social Club

What's in a name?

chapter 6|21 pages

Legal or not

A comparative analysis of Belgian and Uruguayan Cannabis Social Club members' profile and policy preferences

chapter 8|22 pages

CSC + 2

Can the Cannabis Social Club model be a buffer against market distortions?

chapter 9|32 pages

Cannabis legalization in Washington

Policy evolution and emerging evidence from the first nine years

chapter 10|22 pages

From compassion to commercial

What got left behind in the transition to legal cannabis in Canada