Helga Bucher works at High Class Social Club in Barcelona, one of the hundreds of private consumption lounges that have cropped up in the city despite cannabis being illegal in Spain.
“It is not like a dispensary United States,” Bucher says. “One of the most important rules is we cannot say the word ‘buy’ or ‘sell.’ Everything is ‘interchange.’”
Helga greets guests in the reception area, takes information from their photo identification (passports for tourists), and snaps their photos. Most importantly, she explains the rules.
“Nobody can be outside the club waiting for you. They have to come in with you or go to another place completely,” she says.
Customers must also purchase credits that they use within the club.
According to Helga, products are limited to what is available in the gray market, but High Class often collaborates with cannabis brands to offer wider options.
Helga shows people around the large facility, which can be overwhelming for first-time visitors and tourists who flock from surrounding countries like Germany and Morocco.
“High Class is big, beautiful, and really modern, with fancy sellers. They are a little bit lost, so we make the tour, show where the soda is, where the coffee is, where we do movie nights, and have a station with papers and grinders,” she explains. “Then we explain all the edibles or hash we have, and then we show the menu.”
There is comfortable furniture and tables where people chill, socialize and work. All guests must remain on the premises for at least 20 minutes, but many stay all day. When they leave, it is not legal to take cannabis out with them.
“If you take your weed with you, it is your responsibility,” she says.
Helga is among many budtenders featured in Oaksterdam’s Budtender’s Guide: A Reference Manual for Cannabis Consumers and Dispensary Professionals. Learn more here.