On Wednesday, February 18, 2004, we took off for the long ride to Barcelona, to visit the first major commercial cannabis event in Spain, the Spannabis.
I was accompanying the Grow Sur
team, consisting of Jose Molina, the owner of the growshop, and Pegu and Sergio,
his two staff members. We loaded our cars with Jose’s materials; he hired a
stand to show his specialised hash extraction equipment.
We left about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, heading for Valencia, where we would spend the night, we would then leave for Barcelona early the next day, which lies about 1100 kilometres away from Malaga, our home base.
Jose was very exited about it all, it was his first time to take part in a cannabis trade fair, so he made sure he prepared himself well for the trip.
We arrived in Valencia around
10.30 that evening, where we were awaited by Condemor, who led us to the
cannabis friendly cafeteria of a friend. We had a drink, a real good hamburger
‘a la casa’ and a few joints, before we went of to our respective beds, Jose and
Sergio stayed at Condemor’s place, Pegu and me were hosted by Javier, who is a
partner in Garden Che, together with Manuel and Condemor.
We did not get to sleep much, joints kept us up until 3 AM, we were supposed to be leaving at 7 AM, to be able to be in Barcelona in time to set up the stands. Garden Che also participated in the Spannabis, with their organic nutrition line, Organihum.
Thursday, February 19.
We left from the Garden Che warehouse, early next morning, but not after Condemor had shown us a bud of his Jack Herer, in his own, special way.
This is a close up of the Jack Herer bud, even in poor light you can see it is tight and resinous.
We arrived in the Palau San Jordi, the former basketball hall of the Barcelona Olympic complex for the 1992 Olympic Games, around noon. Manolo, Javier and Condemor are ready to set up shop, Jose is still looking for his stand.
Amongst all preparations for the greatest cannabis event in Spain, I noticed a couple of spray can artists, doing their thing on the side walls of the Canamo stand. I decided to keep track of their progress.
This man looks very familiar, but the pipe makes me doubt…
Opium smokers on a cannabis
trade fair, typical for the way Canamo magazine pretends to be the ‘magazine for
the cannabis culture’.
I personally do not agree with the way Canamo works, they do not stick to cannabis only, every other, harder drug in the world is well displayed in it, which does not clearly show where they draw the line. Their latest publication, number 74, February 2004, shows their name, Canamo, followed by their message: ”la revista de la culture del cannabis”.
The 4 headlines are, translated in english:
Government experts versus cannabis.
Nicotinism or tobacconism?
Bolivia: Cocaleros insurrectos
All this was printed over a full page of coca leaves.
I do not understand why they do not start a separate magazine for hard drugs, so young readers of the magazine can stick to cannabis. Or at least change their name into: “Dope, the magazine for all drugs you can lay your hand on”, for example.
Yerba, the other Spanish cannabis magazine, is all cannabis, or cannabis only.
Both Yerba and Canamo consist of 132 pages, full colour. I counted the pages about cannabis in the last issues of the mags. Canamo has 47 pages with cannabis news and info, Yerba has 85 pages about cannabis, and is even 20 eurocents cheaper than Canamo, at 3.50. Get more weed and hash for less cash, buy Yerba!
Yeah, Mick was there, straight from a spray can.
Jennifer and Patrick, two of the crew members of the Paradise Seedbank, tasting the atmosphere, through glass.
Tony, the Spannabis PR manager, (left), explaining the Hesi family the how and what.
Biogreen is going higher than everybody else.
Wish I could remember the name, but it was one of the first strains I smoked on the Spannabis, Indica.
Karulo is checking out the quality with a jewellers loupe, not so strange, some buds are more expensive than gold, per gram!
That evening, we spent the night in a hostal, far away from Barcelona, with very little luxury, and regular power breakdowns. I tried to keep my spirits high by smoking a large variety of cannabis buds and resin, and a taste of Lithuanian vodka.
When we went on a search off the
premises, in the villa that we would rather have stayed in, one of our company
discovered the door that led to a deep cavern.
I walked in the last one, after Jose waved me down there.
We ended up smoking underground, pretty deep, by candlelight.
Pegu lights a Spanish style hash joint in the cavern. Most Spanish smokers use part of a cigarette filter as their filtertip. They are very handy at rolling joints, under all circumstances, without using any platform to do it on.
From left to right: Sergio, Condemor, me, Jose and Javier. Pegu is kneeling in front, and Manuel is behind the camera.
This is how the table looked
like, before we went to bed. In the foreground, Powerplant marihuana, Afgan hash
and Nepalese Temple Ball. Another short night ahead, we had to get up early to
be back in Barcelona in time.
Friday, February 20. Professional Trade Fair.
The spray can artists had done a great job, as you can see here. I have to admit that Canamo had the best looking stand on the fair, but that went unnoticed by the organisation, as they had no cups available for such a valuation.
Bright and spacey.
Jose was filling in the last little details in his booth, where he had some eye-catching equipment set up, it looked like a laboratory.
The Futurola ladies, with a friendly smile. They demonstrated the Futurola Joint Aid, a handy device for those who are not so good in rolling well-shaped joints.
This is the latest in the field of harvesting: The Aardvark, a very easy to use suction clipper, gathering the cut off material in a vacuum cleaner bag, very hygienic for hash makers.
The opening is small, and makes sure it leaves the buds intact.
The Growcase, a portable growcabin from Holland.
Felipe, in the Makoki stand. Felipe is also one of the people behind ARSEC, based in Barcelona. ARSEC and their sister organisations strive for a better and more liberal cannabis policy in Spain.
Soma happened to be the neighbour of Jose, of course he did bring some quality bud. He is holding up his New York City Diesel. I shared a pipe of his Haze hash oil, and a pipe of his Jelly Ice. It was as if I was in orbit for a while, it put me on my butt for an hour.
Yerba also had a nice stand,
with snacks, wine and beer available. Yerba also had a traditional cured ham,
which was sliced very thin, a delicatessen.
Gonzalo, Yerba’s Art Director, smiles and enjoys the whole atmosphere.
This is Moroccan charas, I smoked a piece of it, great taste and impact, made me ooze away, good thing I smoked it on my hotel room.
Plenty of cacti, but no marihuana plants, Soma was asked to keep his bud out of sight as well, but it was not confiscated.
Fat ones, tiny ones…
The Spannabis stand, announcing the next Spannabis, and the exit of the Spannabis magazine.
Jose’s lab set up, meant to extract oil from hash or marihuana, with alcohol.
Jose’s Gas-O-Lator devices, in 3 sizes. They enable you to make small quantities of oil out of the cut off leafs of your few plants, fast.
A few shots from above.
The hall was high and roomy, with wide walking paths, for easy access.
Over 100 participants, but the next Spannabis will take place in a place twice as big as this one, Spannabis grows like cannabis!
Live music on the small, but cosy stage of the Canamo stand.
Evert shows off his new style vaporizer, free for every one to toke on.
Luuk, Paradise Seeds, is all the way behind his folder, even his face.
The French input, the Smokers Museum from Paris.
Jose has just started his oil extraction demo.
The material is placed in the distillery like set up.
Green fluid is being driven out.
Mila made her debut in Spain as well, she liked it very much.
That evening we had a late, slow
dinner in La Locomotora, before our company split up to go to there respective
Saturday, February 21.
The turn up was very good on Saturday, even the wide paths got clogged up some times.
Growshop franchises, by White Shark.
Biogreen was very successful in finding wholesalers for their products.
The Organihum crew was fully set up as well.
The high tech stand of the Cannabis Indoor crew, they were there to promote there latest digital product, the Cannabis Indoor DVD. I was presented 2 of these DVD’s, for being a part of the project. I gave an interview in my first house in Spain, showing my harvest.
The Piecemaker, Sergio used it to press his Maroccan hash with these logos.
Karulo and Condemor having a go on Karulo’s four chamber glass pipe.
This was the waiter in the restaurant we visited that night, we were the last visitors. He was constantly sniffing around, we smoked a few hash joints, he was well aware of it, but let us go on with it. He was also so friendly to take some pictures, so I took a picture of him.
The waiter took this picture of us. He politely asked us to extinguish our joints at the end of our meal, because his manager was coming up, nice guy.
We had been joined by my friends
Mark and Martin, respectively owner and manager of coffeeshop Far Out in
Dedemsvaart, in the east of Holland, they hopped over out of curiosity.
Sunday, February 22.
Carlos, Karulo’s partner in L’Interior growshop. Barcelona, wanted to show me his collection of hash, all made with ice extraction.
It looks like a plate of candy, and it is, candy for cannabists. Amongst these hashes: Super Silver Haze, Sweet tooth # 3, White Widow.
Carlos gave me this fine piece of prime Maroc, soft as butter, spicy as curry.
A picture behind many weedy words of wisdom in the Makoki stand.
This is a Jumbol bud, I took pictures of a huge plant once, in one of Elliot’s guerrilla gardens. I tasted as good as it looked, it has a sweet aroma, and a smooth high, pleasant. The grower donated this bud to me, which was very nice.
This is the grower, Antonio, on the right, looking on while Condemor bites the bud again.
Mark fell in love with Spanish marihuana right away, he did not even want to smoke my Powerplant! He explained he could always smoke that in Holland, now he wanted to get high the Spanish way. I understood, so I shared my Spanish buds with him, like he always shares his Haze with me.
Like this Chronic indoor.
Or this Kalimist, grown by Toni, from Valencia.
Mark is having a look at Gipsy Nirvana’s new magazine, the International Cannagraphic.
Gipsy is very proud of his magazine, which includes a DVD, with a tour through Marocco, amongst others.
Mark tried a new cannabeer, Ave Maria, he also has a smoker friendly bar, so he is always looking for new hemp beers for that place, named Cheech and Chong. The beer contains 0.05 mg per kilo, as you can read on the label.
Mark liked it, I wonder if I will see this label back in his bar, one day.
Jose shared some of his freshly produced hash oil with Ed, his neighbour, who ran a Volcano for his customers.
Condemor and Karulo hit the pipe again.
The Dutch rap group Ruffstar Family brought some rhythm in the hall.
Jose is about to show how to extract hash oil with butane gas. This is the first time I have ever seen this on a cannabis event, probably a world first. Hash oil is not forbidden in Spain, it is not considered anything different from cannabis.
He had a big crowd watching, hash oil is very popular in Spain, and Jose’s device is cheap and suited for small quantities.
Just pour the material, leaf, bud or grinded hash in the tube, and screw the special lid back on.
Then blow butane gas in through a special valve. The gas and the oil will come out through a double screen on the other side, above a bowl. The gas will evaporate, until there is only some sticky, honey like oil left on the bottom of the bowl.
Ed Rosenthal was very interested, and took various pictures of Jose and his device, and the result, of course.
Jose’s stand got a lot of attention during the whole event, it was always croweded up in the corner where he had his stand.
Jose’s honey oil, still bubbling a little.
This is the final result on the Saddhu with chillum, I really like it!
And these are all the presents I
took home, magazines, DVD’s, seeds from Goodhouse, Cannabiogen and Paradise
seeds. Besides that, a lot of new cannabis contacts in Spain, whom I will try to
visit all, one of these days.
Overall. I think the Spannabis was a success, it was well organised, well visited and it had a great atmosphere. Most of the participants of this first Spannabis were Dutch, as I expected, and all of them were very pleased with the turn up and the business they did. I smoked a lot of good grass, with pleasant people. Police might have been there, but not in uniform, I never felt un-free to smoke, so to say. I’ll be back…
, well impressed.