People know Rome as the Italian “green gold rush.” A product range of almost marijuana “cannabis light” has set Italy on the global marijuana map, building hundreds of shops that sell pot by the pouch and attention from investors funding. If you are willing to buy one for you, read this article on where to buy cannabis seeds in Italy.
In Italy, using marijuana is not illegal. But, possessing or selling is. The government is lenient on first time offenders with weed for the first time, but repeat crimes usually incur official sanctions.
Italy legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes in 2007 when the administration recognized THC’s therapeutic advantages for various medical ailments.
In the following article, we will look at the background check of cannabis in Italy, regulations around the country, and much more!
Let’s start with the history of cannabis in Italy!
Marijuana in the History of Italy
Hemp farming in Italy records back as far as the Roman period, with massive marijuana growth happening in the 1st century CE.
There is also plenty of proof that people used to grow it in ancient times as a resource of fabric, food, and building material.
The Italian hemp trade increased in the early 1900s. There were four main categories of hemp at that time:
- The Canapa Picola (small hemp) in the Arno Valley in Tuscany
- The Bologna (great hemp) in Bologna, Ferrara, and Rovigo
- The Neapolitan (large-seeded variety) in Naples
- The Neapolitan (small-seeded variety), also in Naples
Italy was one of the biggest suppliers of hemp in the world by the 1940s. This booming market sank rapidly after the Second World War. The initiation of synthetic fibers indicated that there was less demand for hemp fabric, and the increasing negativity towards marijuana resulted in the government making hemp farming illegal.
Opinions changed again at the beginning of the 21st century. In 2016, industrial hemp production was authorized, giving businesses the freedom to grow cannabis once more.
Complicated Legalization of Marijuana in Italy
Legalization? No. But decriminalization, yes.
You can sell marijuana in shops, but not specifically as a licensed drug. You can develop it at home, but only for private use. So, is marijuana legal in Italy? With patience in hand, the Italians themselves are seeking to learn what is new about cannabis, both in connection to its effectiveness and its selling within the nation.
It is hard to easily distinguish where the border between legal and illegal weed rests with the current status of affairs, particularly if the exceptions are complicated and tricky to comprehend.
Can you Possess and Consume Marijuana in Italy?
The 1990 Consolidated Law is still a lighthouse for the structure for preventing, refusal, and punishment of drug-related movements. Under this law, the usage of weed is not illegal, but having cannabis is.
Law 79 (introduced in 2014) identified marijuana as one of the less severe drugs. Possessing weed may end in the suspension of a driving license, or the loss of it for one to three months.
For more obstinate drugs, this penalty is extended to two to twelve months. First-time offenders usually get a warning and a formal request, ordering them to stop utilizing cannabis.
The law further modified in 2016, allowing and monitoring hemp production. This ended in what some call Italy’s ‘cannabis mania,’ with many retailers marketing ‘cannabis light’ in their shops.
While people can buy this freely, the law does not allow its consumption in any form. Instead, the vendors sell it as a ‘collectors’ item,’ and the buyer can only use it for ‘technical purposes.’
Is Growing Cannabis Allowed?
Hemp farming has been allowed in Italy since 2016. This has proved to be of substantial profit to some Italian companies, who have started producing hemp-based goods such as hemp pasta and building substances.
The Italian military also grows it. It is also the only institution currently allowed to cultivate medicinal-strength marijuana. At present, they are trying to keep up with demand.
In 2016, the parliament of Italy discussed the probability of legalizing the cultivation of up to five plants for private use. The Catholic legislators and the far-right political parties opposed it strongly.
Medical Marijuana in Italy
The Italian government authorized the use of marijuana for medicinal objectives in 2013. Until 2017, patients were only capable of using Bedrocan – a shipped product from the Netherlands and is costly to buy.
In 2014, parliament legalized weed cultivation in Italy. But, only the Ministry of Defence can grow it. As an outcome, the military-owned Institute of Pharmaceuticals in Florence is the only place that grows marijuana for medicinal treatment.
Astonishing as it may look, the Italian military is liable for growing marijuana!
The demand for medical marijuana has been rising steadily year after year. Some, though, regards the cost and complexity of getting it as not worth the effort.
This indicates that people are still turning to black-market suppliers, rather than working within the law.
Medicinal CBD oil, which people use for medical ailments, is legal to buy and use. You can buy it only with a doctor’s prescription from a pharmacy.
You can also legally buy CBD oil without a prescript, but the ratio of THC (the element that gives the ‘high’) must be 0.6% or less. The vendors can sell it as a ‘food additive’ just like hemp seed oil but not for ‘technical usage.’
In the 1940s, Italy was considered to be one of the world’s largest producers of hemp. The authorities allotted over 100 hectares of the area for its farming. The scenario changed after World War II when hemp production was forbidden completely.
The Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies announced a new policy in 2017, saying that hemp cultivation was legal again. Arrangements were put into place:
- The level of THC should not surpass 0.2%, as declared in European legislation
- If it is higher but does not pass 0.6%, the government will not penalize the farmer
- If the plants contain more than 0.6% THC, the authorities have the power to destroy or seize the farmer’s crops or growing facility
Can You Sell Cannabis in Italy?
You cannot legally sell or supply weed in Italy. If the police catch you selling marijuana, the penalty is less strict than ‘hard drugs’ such as cocaine or heroin.
Selling heroin, for instance, can end in up to twenty-two years in jail. By contrast, the trade of marijuana only results in a maximum of six years.
There are some exemptions to this. If the offense is minor, the judge can reduce the prison sentence to a maximum of four years and as short as six months.
When passing judgment, the Italian judicial system looks at the form of sale, the offender’s personality, behavior, and selling purposes.
Buying the Best Cannabis Seeds in Italy
Italian Law n.242 also designed a gray area to trade light cannabis flowers legally in Italy – so long as no one thinks about having it or smoking it.
You can also send them in the post. Though, Italian law does not allow the breeding of cannabis seeds, so you cannot germinate plants from them.
The sale and purchase of marijuana flowers known as buds is also legal, as long as the THC content is under 0.6%.
What Italians call ‘cannabis light,’ the ‘bud’ market is flourishing. Gennaro Maulucci, who hosts a hemp-based trade fair in Italy, states: “It is a new economy, it feels like Silicon Valley.” He also adds that even cannabis light can contribute to the normalization of marijuana.
You can buy cannabis light at any tabaccherie, at automatic devices, specialist chain stores, and organic cooperatives. Some centers are home to online distribution websites that offer services, much like Foodora.
Every little container or bag of legal cannabis that people buy in Italy comes with notice and details about the status of the product as a collector’s item.
How to Buy Maryjane from the Store
- Locate a legal shop that sells “collectible” weed. The storefronts tend to be thin, minimalist, and made up of glass so that you can easily see in.
- Have a look over the list, which involves descriptions of flavors and THC content. All the products are produced in Switzerland or Italy.
- Be ready to pay in cash, but know that some shops accept cards (as long as you don’t mind this statement showing up on your account).
- Depending on the quality, the rate of cannabis begins at around €15 per gram (though the cost might vary if you buy more grams of one variety at one time).
- There is no need to show the ID.
- Not all shops sell smoking papers or pipes, partly due to the legal loophole that says that they can sell weed but cannot sell cannabis for consumption. You can normally find papers at a tabacchi nearby.
- Every bag comes with a warning that the product is not for smoking. However, if you are over 18, you are free to do whatever way you wish to use it in the secrecy of your own home. You cannot smoke anything legitimately in public.
Medical Conditions to Qualify for Doctor’s Prescription
Though only patients with a doctor’s prescription and ministerial permission have access to medical marijuana. Some of the qualifying conditions are:
- Chronic pain
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Injury to the spinal cord
Patients must have attempted other therapies before the doctor prescribe him or her the medicinal marijuana. Moreover, some of the ailments must be a consequence of other diseases or treatments.
For instance, anorexia or nausea must result from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or HIV / AIDS, and not be the initial state itself.
Medical marijuana is only accessible from a pharmacy. Upon getting the medication, you need to provide a receipt. The pharmacist must have signed and stamped it as an authoritative record of the prescribed medication.
It is not accessible on repeat prescription. To get more quantities of medicinal marijuana, you need to have another prescription from the GP.
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What is Cannalight?
The vendors sell ‘Cannabis light,’ typically in little jars. It consists of just the flowers or buds of the cannabis plant. People call it ‘light’ because its level of THC is 0.6% or less. It is far lower than the average 14% THC in recreational cannabis. This suggests that ‘cannabis light’ does not provide a ‘high.’
The demand for ‘cannabis light’ increased after the government legalized hemp production in 2016. The law set the use of the hemp plant, but not the buds themselves, and breeders noticed a way to earn a profit from this authoritative void. At present, over 500 stores in Italy sell it.
It is not just the retailers that earn profit from these cannabis buds. Hemp producers embrace the change in the code too.
Salvo Scuderi is the president of the agricultural cooperative Colli Erei. He remarked that they launched a clear message that growing cannabis doesn’t just mean reviving the land; it is also a means to weaken the mafia market, which for decades has continued to be careless in its wish to control the criminal market of drugs trafficking and to give back to the breeders what the chiefs had taken away from them.
What are the Arguments in Favor of Cannabis Light?
Defenders of cannabis light point to the product as a more reliable option to the ‘weed’ that other people sell on the street. Another typical illustration revolves around economic benefits.
Unlike the illegal drug trade, cannabis light gives real jobs and income to the state by the tax. This also drives industry away from the unauthorized market and, by expansion, organized crime.
What are the Arguments Against Cannabis Light?
Critics retort that cannabis light is not suitable for the protocol in city centers and describes the depravity of Italian culture in general (degrado).
Another shared blame is that it promotes drug use among juvenile people. Rather than turning weed smokers to lighter options – as supporters claim – some claim that cannabis light is getting a whole new crowd of people associated with cannabis use that otherwise would not have been.
Aside from being a complicated matter to understand completely, marijuana legislation is also a highly divisive matter in the political sphere of Italy. Let’s see how!
Cannabis in the Politics of Italy
Many of the successful political parties in Italy have different opinions on the legalization of marijuana. The Five Star Movement, who are largely ‘anti-establishment,’ thinks that the government should legalize it, as do the Democratic Party (PD).
Their beliefs face strong resistance. The far-right League Party is entirely against weed use and rejects all proposals to legalize it. Moreover, the Roman Catholic Church adopts a strong stand against it.
With the political future in the balance in Italy, the legalization of marijuana depends mostly on which party will come into power next.
Modern Attitude Toward Cannabis
The popularity of cannabis light has given new energy to pot legalization campaigns stewing since the 1970s.
Italy has a significant community of weed users. UNODC data advises that in terms of the currency of marijuana smoking, the nation ranks twelfth in the world.
Allowing the sale of ‘light cannabis’ also emphasizing the relatively liberal stance of the government. Still, others are in direct contradiction and ask the government to ban cannabis again totally. The Roman Catholic Church is a well-known example.
Canapa Caffè in Rome, the only Italian region for patients being treated with medical marijuana, was designed so that people didn’t have to medicate alone at home. Recently, it is very much popular among weed users.
There is no assurance that the vague legal status of cannabis light will persist the parliamentary appetite of incoming legislators. While it’s still not clear how the condition will fix itself, it seems pretty clear that Italy is going to be flaming its own trail in 2020.
We hope you would find this article useful when you think of buying cannabis seeds in Italy. Click Here to read more about marijuana strains!
Watch this video to take a tour to a legal weed store in Rome, Italy!
- 1 Marijuana in the History of Italy
- 2 Complicated Legalization of Marijuana in Italy
- 3 Buying the Best Cannabis Seeds in Italy
- 4 What is Cannalight?
- 5 Cannabis in the Politics of Italy
- 6 Last Thoughts