Italy: Cannabis law approved

A law for the promotion of the cannabis chain has been approved by the Senate.

"We have finally regulated a sector that represents a great potential for our agriculture, not only from an economic point of view, but also for what concerns sustainability. We supply information to the many producers interested in this, potentially, profitable sector. Thanks to its qualities and characteristics, in fact, cannabis cultivation can reduce environmental impact," explains Minister Maurizio Martina. 

In particular, the provision identifies the varieties suitable for cultivation, as well as the sectors in which it can be employed, ranging from food, cosmetics, industry and energy, down to education and research.

The law enables the cultivation of cannabis without the need for an authorisation. To favour production and processing activities, Mipaaf will destine a share of the national plan resources to this sector of up to €700,000 every year. The Forestry Corp will be in charge of inspections.

Coldiretti Taranto: crops doubled in a year
"The fact that the Senate approved the law is a good thing. Taranto can become the cannabis district in southern Italy and, in some cases, it could become a good response to the problems created by ILVA. Cannabis can be used in the food, cosmetic and nutraceutical sectors and could create new jobs. It needs very little fertiliser and leaves a good quantity of organic matter in the soil," reports Colridretti Tranto President Alfonso Cavallo.

Cannabis sativa cultivation has boomed in Taranto, and cultivated areas doubled with respect to last year. This is due to the many opportunities offered by this particularly versatile crop, which can be used to make fabric, building materials, oils, varnishes, soap, wax, cosmetics, detergents, paper and packaging. There are even cannabis pallets for heating.

Ddl will promote training activities for those working in the sector to increase their knowledge concerning cannabis and its uses in the agronomic, agroindustrial, nutreaceutic, green building, green components and packaging sectors.

"Cannabis seeds, and food deriving from cannabis, contain proteins that include all the essential amino acids in excellent proportions and in an easily digestible form. Cannabis can also be used to make natural fabrics perfect for clothes (cool in summer and warm in winter) and furnishings (as they are very resistant). Crops sowed after cannabis are more productive - wheat can produce up to 20% more than when traditional rotations are used. The twenty years spent studying this plant almost exclusively, enabled Italy to develop a catalogue of over 300 types of cannabis."

"We are practically going back to a crop that was very popular up to the 1940s, so much so that, with its 100 thousand hectares, Italy was the second cannabis producer worldwide (after the Soviet Union). The decline came with industrialisation and the 'economic boom' that brought about synthetic fibres and with the international campaign against drugs."

"In 1961, the Italian Government signed the 'Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs' (followed by those in 1971 and 1988), according to which cannabis was supposed to be extinct within 25 years, after it came into force. In 1975, the 'Cossiga Law' against drugs led to the elimination of the last few cultivated hectares. The current boom is the perfect example of how well our companies can discover and experiment with new frontiers, as well as satisfying the needs of new consumers. This new green economy can contribute to sustainable growth and help the country recover from the crisis."

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