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  1. hi Growing your own cannabis is legalised in Italy Italy is set to allow the small-scale cultivation of cannabis plants at home after a reform was approved by the Lower House's justice committee on Wednesday. The reform decriminalises the growth of up to four cannabis plants at home. However, it also increases the penalties for crimes linked to the trafficking and dealing of cannabis, with the maximum sentence increasing from six to ten years. The reform, which was put forward by Italian MP Riccardo Magi, makes Italy one of the first countries in Europe to decriminalize the domestic cultivation of cannabis for personal use, with Spain and Czech Republic also permitting the growth of up to five plants at home. This reform comes nearly two years after a landmark decision from Italy’s Supreme Court in 2019, that ruled small-scale domestic cultivation of cannabis was legal. The ruling was made on December 19, 2019 but went unnoticed until a week later when it was reported by domestic news agencies and immediately fueled a simmering political debate over cannabis use in Italy. It triggered calls for further legalization from weed advocates and anger from the country’s conservatives. In the UK, home cultivation remains illegal as well as possessing, selling, or distributing the drug, with offenders facing a fine of up to £2,500 and five years in prison. Recent figures from the Home Office show police are making a record 358 cannabis seizures a day, a 21 per cent increase on 2019. Cannabis was the most commonly found drug in police searches, with quantities being found in 71 per cent of all drug seizures in England and Wales in the 12 months to the end of March 2020. However, in 2018, medicinal cannabis was legalized in the UK and some MPs have backed a similar move to Italy, towards decriminalisation. Meanwhile, in the US, cannabis has been legalized across a third of all US states, with Virginia, New Mexico, and Connecticut being the latest ones to legalize recreational cannabis. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9972709/Growing-cannabis-legalized-Italy.html#comments 44 comments Bongme
  2. hi Italians Love Cannabis Light. What Is It? Low-dose cannabis shops are booming from Rome to Milan. In Italy, laws around the sale and use of cannabis remain in flux. But it’s still possible in many locations to buy what is known as "cannabis light," a low-dose THC product. A new study shows Italians are buying it up like de-caf espresso, using the cannabis light to replace pharmaceuticals. The study, published in The Journal of Health Economics, found that legalization of cannabis light in 2017 led Italians to buy it in increasing numbers, while at the same time sales for anti-anxiety medications and sedatives dropped. The product is comparable to CBD products in the United States that have exploded in popularity since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp. “The large-scale accessibility to the new product, which was advertised as a relaxant one, induced some patients to abandon traditional medicine to seek relief,” researchers wrote in the study. RELATED: Mexico's Cannabis Legalization Addresses Several National Woes, While Creating Opportunity Cannabis light started because of a loophole in hemp legalization. In 2016, a loophole in an Italian law legalizing hemp allowed entrepreneurs in the country to sell low-dose THC products in shops. The products could contain no more than 0.6 percent THC. Cannabis light first became widely available in Italy in 2017. In May 2019, then-Interior Minister Matteo Salvini led a cannabis crackdown, followed by a decision from Italy’s Supreme Court to ban the sale of cannabis derivatives. The country’s Parliament then seemed prepared to pass an amendment to existing law allowing cannabis light, but the Italian Senate blocked the measure. However, a passage in the Supreme Court ruling that allowed sales of cannabis products “devoid of any doping or psychotropic effect” has kept retailers selling cannabis light products, even though some government action seems targeted at not allowing them to do so. In short, Italian law in this area is not completely clear. But Italians desire for cannabis light is. The study looked at the impact of cannabis light on prescription medicine sales. The study published by the economists looked at monthly drug sales from an Italian association of pharmacy owners between January 2016 and February 2018. They then compared those numbers to sales reported from cannabis light shops. They found that as sales increased for cannabis light, sales decreased for prescription drugs in some areas. They included: An 11.5 percent decrease in anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications) A 10 percent reduction in sedatives A 4.8 percent reduction in anti-psychotics The researchers argued that the relaxing properties of cannabis light account for people using them, especially to replace anxiety medications and sleep sedatives. “This is intuitively explained by the relaxant properties of CBD, which is often used to treat sleep disorders,” they wrote. “Moreover, the large coefficients that we observe for sedatives and anxiolytics can be explained by the marketing strategies for cannabis and CBD-related products sold, which are typically advertised for its relaxant effects.” The study shows yet again that people want to try marijuana for medicinal purposes. In the case of the Italian study, researchers noted that using cannabis light “may stem from the patients’ needs of more effective relief, which is not currently addressed by traditional medicine. This configures a form of market failure that lawmakers should account for.” https://www.greenentrepreneur.com/article/359749 Bongme
  3. hi Italy’s Medical Cannabis Market under Legal Threat The new law enforced in Italy recently is no good news for marijuana fans. Pharmacies warn that medical cannabis Market is prone to the legal threat. They are not able to ship marijuana packages due to newfound restrictions. These new laws are harming Italy’s 30-year old industry. The major source of customer access to this legal drug was the shipment process. Cannabis in Italy is a major economic source in the country. The medical cannabis industry is vulnerable as cannabis is a controversial drug. Italy is the second-largest legal market for the Cannabis plant and its full-scale extracts. In a recent document from Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Service of the Italian Ministry of Health, the state highlights the intention to enforce the law. States’ Intentions The states around the world are legalizing marijuana. They are doing it as an act of recognition of its benefits. However, they are also concerned about the illegal use of the drug. For this reason, they are implementing different kinds of strategies. While some strategies are justified and helpful, others can also be undesirable. Such regulations which aim to control the marijuana consumptions are a great barrier to industry. Probably the biggest one. They often lead to only a fraction of patients who could actually benefit from the drug, accessing it. In Italy, most pharmacies prefer shipping over the counter sale. It is because of the specialization required for the exact prescription. Shipping remains Italy’s method for a long time now. It was the prime method in lockdown season. This practice is vulnerable under the new law that requires the drug to be handed over to the patient only. While the notion behind it is good, it could push citizens into the illicit market. It will be their only hope for getting their hands-on medical cannabis Market. The state’s intentions are dual-sided in this. They also want to decentralize sales. At present, only a few companies are enjoying the maximum market share by shipping across the country. If the law is imposed, pharmacists will themselves hand over the drug to patients on every front. This will promote equal growth for everybody. Patients’ Concern In an open letter this week, a group of pharmacists and patients addressed their concerns. Many of the patients are too far from a dispensary to first go for prescription and then for the drug. The letter reached the minister of health. Other pharmacies also argued that the system of prescription and distribution created over years will be destroyed after this. Plant-derived CBD Ministry of Health also published a new decree this month. A new strain of cannabis of ingestible formulas with flower-derived CBD in the table of medicines. The decree included composition for oral administration of CBD extracts. They basically want to authorize the sale of Epilepsy drug Epidiolex in the country. Once the drug becomes legal, pharmacists will be able to prescribe it legally under non-repeatable prescriptions. This is a good move by the state. However, this law will restrict the use of single prescription multiple times by the masses. It will be easier to control consumption this way. Such regulations are important because, without them, there will be no monitoring of medical cannabis Market. If the state leaves everything to the dispensaries, it will be chaos if the matters start going downhill. We can only hope for the best for everyone. Related Topics: https://cannabishealthinsider.com/5593/italys-medical-cannabis-market-under-legal-threat/ Bongme
  4. hi Italy’s ‘cannabis light’ creates buzz even if the pot won’t 'Green gold rush' essentially considered decaf coffee of marijuana ROME — It’s been called the Italian “green gold rush.” Mild, barely there marijuana dubbed “cannabis light” has put Italy on the international weed map, producing hundreds of stores that sell pot by the pouch and attention from investors banking the legalization of stronger stuff will follow. The flourishing retail industry around cannabis light — weed so non-buzzy, it’s essentially the decaf coffee of marijuana — surfaced as an unintended by-product of a law meant to restore Italy as a top producer of industrial hemp. Now, storefronts that peddle chemically ineffective hemp flowers in varieties such as “Chill Haus” and “Black Buddha” are getting blowback that some Italians fear will nip business in the bud. Italy’s highest court clouded the climate four weeks ago by ruling it was illegal to market hemp-derived products that weren’t “in practice devoid” of the power to provide a perceptible high. Sporadic testing and customer reviews suggested cannabis light outlets sold weed that weak. The law-and-order interior minister nonetheless declared war on the shops with neon leaf logos last month, vowing to close them “street by street, shop by shop” nationwide. “It is neither possible nor acceptable that in Italy there are 1,000 shops where there are drugs legally, in broad daylight. This is disgusting,” said Matteo Salvini, who made keeping migrants out of Italy a primary focus after taking office a year ago. Some business owners are ready to fight back. The owner of Green Planet in the southern city of Caserta chained himself to the fence around his locked shop this month after a raid in which police seized 16 grams of cannabis light. Gioel Magini, the owner of a Cannabis Amsterdam Store franchise in Sanremo, proposed a class-action lawsuit to keep the shops open and their owners from losing money. “I closed a pizzeria to open this store. Now, they want us to go bankrupt,” Magini told Italian news agency ANSA. “It’s as if to fight alcoholism, the sale of non-alcoholic beer is banned.” The commotion reflects the lag in Europe’s pro-marijuana movement compared to the recreational use frontiers of North America. The coffee shops in Amsterdam where tourists have gone since the late 1970s to purchase pot in public never took off outside the Netherlands. While more than 30 European countries have laws allowing medical marijuana in some form, patient advocates complain of high prices and inadequate supplies. Enter “la cannabis light,” the catchy name Italians have for cannabis sativa plant derivatives with low levels of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that causes a high. Hemp and marijuana are the same plant, but scientists classify dry plants with no more than 0.3 percent THC as hemp. In the 28-country European Union, of which Italy is a member, the cutoff is 0.2 percent. A December 2016 Italian law, however, set a domestic ceiling three times higher than that to give hemp farmers leeway for natural variations resulting from cultivation, according to Stefano Masini, a spokesman for Italy’s Coldiretti agriculture lobby. Although 0.6 percent is just over the THC concentration required for hemp to become marijuana in a botanist’s book, Italian regulators assumed it was too low to have a mind-altering effect and its related consumer appeal. Entrepreneurs in a country with a lackluster economy nonetheless saw an opportunity. The hemp law that took effect 2 1/2 years ago permitted sales of cosmetics and products made with hemp. Gift boutiques, corner markets and stand-alone grow shops soon stocked cannabis-infused pasta, olive oil and gelato, but also jars and bags of “light” buds. Since marijuana still was illegal, producers labeled the products as “collector’s items” not intended for consumption. Rolling papers and glass pipes storekeepers might display nearby advertised otherwise. https://www.columbian.com/news/2019/jul/05/italys-cannabis-light-creates-buzz-even-if-the-pot-wont/ Bongme
  5. Hi Anti-cannabis minister threatens to bring down Italian government Italy’s firebrand Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has promised to shutter every legal cannabis shop in Italy “one by one” and collapse the government should his coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, not comply with the demand. “From today, I’ll go to war on cannabis street by street, shop by shop, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, city by city,” Salvini said on Wednesday, May 8. Salvini, who leads the ruling far-right Lega party, said the war on drugs was “a new national emergency”, and has demanded the government close “these places of mass miseducation”. Legal cannabis retailers litter Italy’s high streets, and report an estimated turnover of €6.5m of CBD-related products. More than 300 additional stores were opened in 2018, up 75 percent from the previous year. The retailers sell mainly CBD, which is derived from the cannabis plants, and contains less than 0.2 percent of the active substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), allowed by law. Similar shops have appeared across Europe in recent years with little pushback from areas other than Austria. Italian lawmakers have only regulated the level of THC in weed, not the retail and marketing of CBD products. A judgement from the Supreme Court of Cassation, the highest court of appeal in Italy, is expected at the end of the month. A day after Salvini’s announcement, police closed three cannabis shops in the city of Macerata, in the centre of Italy. Products were seized, and it has been reported some contained THC levels exceeding the legal limit. Salvini backed the “Macerata’s model” and said he will enact a directive in Italy allowing local regions to take the same action. “We should not give wrong information, because cannabis shops don’t sell drugs,” replied Italy’s Health Minister Giulia Grillo, a member of the Five Star Movement. She said the only current legal prohibitions the sale of CBD are linked to vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and minors, and that the cannabis extracts are not illegal. “I can assess only the health aspect. However, it should be stressed that the concentration of the active ingredient in those products is not such as to have narcotic effects on consumers,” she said, adding there was no place for free drugs in Italy. The controversy is the latest in a number of splits emerging between the far-right Lega party and anti-establishment group Five Star Movement, which govern Italy via coalition. In a TV debate, Salvini said he would immediately topple the government if the Five Star Movement attempted to legalise cannabis. Five Start deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio urged caution. “Enough,” he said in a note sent to the press. “We are all against drugs, but now Italian citizens are tired of these threats to the government,” Di Maio said. In January, a Five Star senator, Matteo Mantero, filed a draft law allowing citizens to grow up to three marijuana plants for recreational use. The hardline Salvini said he expected the draft law to be iced. The minister also wants to stamp out hemp or cannabis fairs. “They’re havoc, this must be stopped,” Salvini said, adding he was “not the minister of a drug-dealer state”. In response, organisers of the hemp festival Sativa Torino Expo have cancel their event expected to take place from 17 to 19 May in Turin. “Now it is difficult to make people understand that our expo is not a party that aims to promote soft drugs but to make clarity and divulgation over these new products,” said Claudia Ottone, marketing director of the agency behind the event. https://www.greenmarketreport.com/anti-cannabis-minister-threatens-to-bring-down-italian-government/ Bongme
  6. hi Italy says Rastafarians can smoke marijuana - so long as they use it for prayer The man was arrested with 58 grams of cannabis, but his lawyer convinced the court to release him. A judge in Italy has acquitted a man who was found with 58 grams of marijuana after he said he smoked the plant as part of his religion. The court in Bari heard the case after the man was arrested in possession of a quantity of the drug in April of last year. Police say they found the 30-year-old with 8 grams in his pocket, and a further 50 grams after they searched his flat for unlawful substances. Although the judge agreed the initial arrest was correct, he said he was forced to drop the charges immediately due to a prior ruling by Italy's Court of Cassation in 2008. "Rastafarians are followers of a religion whose believers use marijuana for meditation", the court explained. Prosecutors argued the defendant should face a prison sentence of one to four months for possession of the drug. The man's lawyer Luca Bruno, however, argued successfully that his arrest was in violation of his religious rights as a practitioner of Rastafarianism. The man said how had his own prayer room within the flat were he mediated and listened to spiritual Rastafarian music. The use of marijuana, known as ganja, is encouraged in Rastafarianism as it is believed it heightens spiritual awareness. Rastafrianism originated in Jamaica during the 1930s and has a small following in other countries around the world. The religion and social movement believes that Haile Selassie, the 20th century Ethiopian ruler, was the embodiment of god on earth. Other countries have relaxed their laws prohibiting the distribution of cannabis. Some US states now allow marijuana use under some circumstances, such as for medicinal use. In Colorado, sales of the drug have already surpassed the $1bn mark in the first eight months of 2017 alone. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/italy-says-rastafarians-can-smoke-marijuana-so-long-they-use-it-prayer-1645509 Bongme
  7. Hi Nearly 14 Tons Of Cannabis Seized Off Italian Coast Europol said it supported the Italian Guardia di Finanza and D.C.S.A. in an operation resulting in the seizure of over 13.5 tons of cannabis resin from a Panama-registered merchant vessel, and the arrest of 11 Ukrainian and Georgian crew members. The operation was closely supported by the Spanish National Police and Vigilancia Aduanera (D.A.V.A.), M.A.O.C.-N , and the Hellenic Coast Guard. Tactical teams from Guardia di Finanza intercepted and boarded the vessel ‘Munzur’ approximately 10 miles off the north-eastern shores of the island of Pantelleria on December 2, and escorted it to the Italian Port of Palermo. From there, the Nucleo di Polizia Tributaria – G.I.C.O. – G.O.A. began the investigation into the origin of the drugs and the criminal enterprise involved. According to Europol, this operation builds on four successful actions against transnational drug trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea since June this year; these have led to a total seizure of nearly 60 tons of cannabis resin and the arrest of 46 individuals. The actions fall under the complex international police operation Libeccio International. This involves various EU law enforcement agencies from EU Member States working together as a joint operational team (JOT) to tackle large-scale drug trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea. On this occasion, in Palermo the JOT brought together officials from Greece, Spain, and Europol, to ensure immediate follow-up of international investigative leads. http://www.eurasiareview.com/07122015-97313/ Bongme