The legalization of light cannabis in Italy has been a significant step that has opened new opportunities in the agricultural sector and sparked meaningful discussions.
Seven years ago, the Italian Parliament approved a law to promote the hemp agro-industrial sector, allowing the entry of the so-called “cannabis light” into the market. This regulation sets precise conditions for the legal cultivation of hemp, including THC content limits and the intended use of the product.
“Cannabis light” refers only to hemp varieties listed in the common catalog of agricultural plants of the European Union. To be legal, the plants must meet specific criteria:
- Use only certified seeds from authorized dealers, keeping the relevant invoices for at least 12 months.
- Ensure that the THC content is below 0.6%. If it exceeds this limit, the hemp may be seized or destroyed, but the farmer will not be held responsible if they can demonstrate the use of certified seeds.
- Cultivate hemp for legal purposes, such as floriculture or other activities specified in the law.
By adhering to these conditions, the cultivation of “cannabis light” is legal in Italy, according to the law of December 2, 2016.
THE FINE LINE BETWEEN PERSONAL USE AND TRAFFICKING OF HIGH-THC CANNABIS
When discussing high-THC cannabis, it is essential to distinguish between personal use and trafficking. Authorities assess several factors to determine whether it is personal use or a crime, such as the number of plants, the absence of tools for trafficking, and the intention of the farmer.
If the plants are intended for personal use, and there is no evidence of trafficking, it does not constitute a criminal offense. However, the illegal cultivation of cannabis for personal use is still considered an administrative offense and can result in penalties such as the suspension of driving licenses, firearms permits, passports, and tourist residence permits.
THERAPEUTIC USE OF CANNABIS IN ITALY: A LEGAL AND CONTROLLED PATHWAY
Since 2007, the therapeutic use of cannabis has been legal in Italy, but it is only allowed through specifically packaged and prescribed medications. The unauthorized purchase and use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes are not justifiable.
The Court of Cassation has also confirmed the legality of domestic cannabis cultivation for therapeutic purposes. If there is no evidence of trafficking in the activity, it is considered for personal use.
FISCAL INCENTIVES AND FUNDING FOR LEGAL HEMP CULTIVATION
Law 242 provides incentives of up to 700,000 euros annually for the development of legal cannabis in Italy, improving production and product marketing.
Producers of legal cannabis can benefit from contributions exemptions for three years and reductions of 65% and 50% in the following years. Additionally, some regional directives may offer further funding for legal hemp cultivation. Sativa hemp is also registered as an innovative agricultural cultivation, allowing additional tax benefits and funding for agricultural businesses.
GROWING LEGAL CANNABIS IN ITALY: A SIMPLE GUIDE
The cultivation of legal hemp in Italy requires some attention, but it is a versatile crop that adapts to various conditions. It is important to follow some rules:
- Use only certified seeds from authorized dealers.
- Ensure that the THC content is below 0.6%.
- Cultivate only for legal purposes, such as floriculture or the production of inflorescences.
Sativa hemp does not require special care and is a self-weeding plant. Its cultivation can offer environmental benefits, contributing to sustainable development.
The legalization of “cannabis light” in Italy has opened new opportunities in the agricultural sector and sparked significant debates. The legal cultivation of hemp is allowed by following the specific conditions established by the 2016 law. It is essential to understand the difference between personal use and trafficking of high-THC cannabis. Therapeutic use of cannabis is legal and controlled through specific medications prescribed by a doctor. The cultivation of legal cannabis can benefit from fiscal incentives and funding, promoting economic development in the sector.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only. We advise against domestic cultivation of legal hemp, especially if you are a beginner in the field, as the risk of making mistakes and unintentionally breaking the law is always present.
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