THE first of an estimated 400 "cannabis social clubs" in France have formally registered their existence.
Fifteen clubs have lodged declarations at their local préfecture, registering as a not-for-profit association.
The clubs bring together growers and consumers of cannabis, who share their produce but do not sell it. They are considered illegal in France, but legally recognised in neighbouring Spain and Belgium.
A notice advising of the formal creation of the French Federation of Cannabis Social Clubs appeared in the Journal Officiel earlier this week.
Local branches have been declared in the Loire-Atlantique, Vendée, Creuse, Charente-Maritime, Indre-et-Loire and Haute-Vienne.
Authorities could close the clubs down at any point - but organisers hope for long legal delays before that happens.