A SPANISH town has found a novel way to solve the economic crisis by agreeing a deal to grow marijuana for a cannabis association.
The controversial scheme, in the Catalan town of Rasquera, will create 40 jobs and allow the town hall to pay off its 1.3 million euro debt in two years, according to mayor Bernat Pellisa.
The seven-hectare plantation on council land will be used to grow marijuana for the 5,000 members of the Barcelona Personal Use Cannabis Association (ABCDA).
The group will pay the town 650,000 euros a year for the right to grow its annual supply there.
The deal will turn Rasquera – where traditional local produce includes olives, almonds and goats – into one of the biggest legal suppliers of cannabis in Europe.
“This is a chance to bring in money and create jobs,” said mayor Pellisa.
“The produce will only go to members of the association and it won’t all be cannabis, there will be crop rotation with cereal and sugarbeet,” he added.
Pellisa said he had sought legal advice that the scheme did not break Spain’s ambiguous cannabis laws, although the government have confirmed they will consult lawyers.