- the Provincial Court of Biscay stated in their original acquittal that Pannagh is a "legally constituted association" and the confiscated Cannabis was intended exclusively for consumption of members of the association themselves
- the Supreme Court altered the account of the proven facts in order to conclude the existence of criminal offences. Its main argument is that although Cannabis produced by Pannagh was never handed over to non-members, there was a potential risk of leakages to people outside the association by the members.
- the activities of Pannagh have been repeatedly subject to court decisions that have affirmed their legality (Judgment nr. 218/2006 of the Provincial Court of Biscay and nr. 377/2012 of the Court of Álava) both cases ended with the return of seized Cannabis to Pannagh.
Helena Echeverri, a criminal lawyer who has spent her career defending the Cannabis sector, analysed the scenario that Cannabis Social Clubs face in Spain; the Supreme Court's recent negative rulings establish jurisprudence and prevent associations with large numbers of members from dispensing Cannabis. The solution involves sidestepping the courts and advocating for change at the polls. However, one thing seems clear for now, Cannabis Social Clubs are absolutely illegal and those in violation of the High Court's requirements will be moved against.
- The Association must be comprised only of habitual Cannabis users who can show this and; not be open to an indiscriminate number of members. This limitation is aimed at preventing third parties that have nothing to do with the club’s principles from using it illegally.
- Consumption must take place in a closed-off area in order to prevent it from being promoted in public and prevent it from reaching those not members. Meetings must take place between small numbers of users in order for them to be considered a “private affair that is not of a public nature”.
- People associated with the Association must provide identification to prove that they really are habitual Cannabis users.
- Consumption must be immediate in order to ensure the product does not leave the premises and to stop it from falling into the hands of third parties that should not have access.
- The quantity of Cannabis that Associations possess must be “minimal” and suitable for consumption in a single meeting.
- Associations are urged to prevent storing large quantities of the plant as that is considered to be the “seed of danger that the legislator wants to banish” (with regard to the trafficking of drugs).
- The management body of the Association aims to ensure all of the above measures are fulfilled, i.e., they should have the ability to control and fulfil all of the aforementioned requirements.
Madrid's La Santa Le Club's case was thrown out and their Cannabis returned, so under Spanish law they may allege a "prohibition error", which means if a judge has previously ruled they were operating properly, there is no reason they should be found non-compliant now. However, in view of the delicate overall situation, the legal recommendation is for associations to assess whether they are properly organised, not open their doors to the police without a search warrant, and get members tested, so that if they later end up in court, they can prove they have been regular consumers. If convicted and subject to a final sentence of more than two years of imprisonment, the judge may waive incarceration if one can present results of such tests and agree to undergo "detoxification".