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Buds, Beef & Bad Weather : The Basque Country

Source: Dope Magazine

The Basque Country is a mysterious region that straddles the border between present-day Spain and France, and has a unique and long-lived relationship with our beloved plant. It was here in the Basque Country (at least, the Spanish side) where several intense legal battles were fought in recent years, enabling the creation of cannabis social clubs serving members with small quantities for personal use.

It’s mid-September, and the weather is relentlessly windy, gray and rainy. I’m told that this area is a popular tourist resort—indeed, my tiny plane from Paris to Biarritz was packed with late-season vacationers, but they must surely have some better reason in mind than the climate.

The natural beauty and rugged coastline may have a lot to do with it—and the incongruous palm trees everywhere do suggest that the weather may be reasonably warm at times. This mild, rainy climate is definitely conducive to plant life, as the Basque region is one of the greenest places I have ever seen.

The region also boasts some of Europe’s best surf spots—with almost 5000km (3100 miles) across the Atlantic to build up, the swells that break on Basque beaches can reach up to 6m (20 feet) in height in some spots.

Furthermore, the food around here is world-class, with specialties including txakoli (an extra-dry, slightly-sparkling white wine), sagardoa (strong, sharp apple cider), and marmitako, a traditional fisherman’s stew made of fresh tuna and potatoes. It’s also somewhat of a meat-eater’s paradise in the Basque Country; grilled, locally-raised beef and lamb are hugely-popular staples.

I’m in town to check out the local cannabis scene, and conveniently, one of Europe’s most important cannabis trade shows—Irun Expogrow—is happening while I’m here. Irun is a small town near San Sebastián (the European Capital of Culture 2016, and a truly beautiful…

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