Cannabis legalization has rapidly spread across the USA. Local governments have shown interest in the medicinal benefits of the plant, which aim to help benefit the people through government-managed dispensaries. Cannabis and its products are becoming popular in these regions, and more users are pouring in to experience the same.
As the legalization wave slowly starts to spread towards the east, Europe is yet to let the trend settle well in its territory. Various countries have made medical cannabis for patients available. Yet the scope for the legalization of cannabis, in general, is slightly ambiguous in these areas too. With the old government out of the pictures, the new changes expected in Italy from the new government also includes cannabis legalization. It would make Italy the first country to begin the revolution for the complete legalization of cannabis in Europe.
The laws surrounding Cannabis in Italy
Marijuana was decriminalized in Italy and is open for cultivation, particularly for industrial purposes and medicinal research today. The intention was to promote industries to flourish from legalizing hemp cultivation. Various regions in the country have opened to this provision that enables every trusted cannabis store to cultivate the most excellent quality of cannabis seeds. Yet, apart from farming, the plant remains an illegal entity and is surrounded by rules enforceable in oppressive contexts. Even small quantities of Cannabis, if found, could lead to confiscation of legal documents, along with a formal warning notice. Selling cannabis is also considered illegal, which could lead to hefty fines and imprisonment.
The future for marijuana in Italy faced a drastic change after the law passed in 2016 that enables the commercial use of hemp products with low THC concentrations. Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plant varieties. While marijuana contains a high level of THC, Hemp, on the other hand, is dominated by CBD concentration, making it ideal for medical use. Popularly referred to as cannabis light, these products have hardly any psychoactive effects, and hence have been declared as non-intoxicating substance. The law intended to enable industries such as textile, clothing to utilize the potential of hemp. But instead, the law encouraged the beginning of low THC levels product ranges or the cannabis light range that includes flowers, resins, oils, edibles, cosmetics, and more.
Cannabis Light and its place in Italy
This law loophole has enabled various regions in Italy to sell low THC varieties of cannabis openly in shops today. The cozy shops of the Calabria region in the provincial city of Cosenza, located in the southern tips of Italy, have opened their hearts and shops to the finest quality of cannabis from the world. The trend of cannabis light helped place Italy on the world cannabis map. This variety, which is mild and barely striking a high, is known as the Italian Green Goldrush. It seems to be the first step towards welcoming wide varieties and stronger strains into the country very soon.
Although the political scenario in Italy seems to show a shaky front in terms of accepting the legalization of marijuana, the shops, and industries that have been set up in this region seem to hold a strong front on keeping their businesses up. The coffee shops of Amsterdam have been selling cannabis openly since 1970. Yet, this trend could never spread to any other region of the European countries, even though the medicinal use of cannabis is prevalent in various regions across the country. The legal implications of the law in Italy is vague and ambiguous to discuss whether the scope includes cannabis sold in these shops or not. Yet the success of these shops in reaching out the cannabis enthusiasts is commendable showing better promise than any other regions.
But la cannabis light, as the Italians refer to it, has broken this and created its place in the cannabis industry. These shops sell cannabis Sativa derivatives, which have low THC concentration and hardly any psychoactive effects. Most of these hemp products sold in this region fall into about 0.3% THC content category, which is acceptable by law that requires concentration to be less than 0.6%. As marijuana is still illegal for consumption in the region, the stores label the extracts, flowers, resins as collector’s items rather than as human consumables. This approach indicates the status of cannabis in the country today and the timelines to look for possible legalization in this region.
Cannabis light and the possibilities it opens for retail business
Last year alone, the cannabis cultivators and retail businesses encompassing the industry created a boom in the sector with impeccable numbers. Franchising brands and cannabis product stores brought in over 64 varieties of industrial hemp for its users and led the hemp revolution that supports the economic growth strongly. The farming associations in the region see hemp cultivation as an opportunity to break the farming slump of Italy and create a new agriculture dream for the country.
Cannabis light is seen as a way of breaking the entry barrier of cannabis to complete legalization in Europe. The retail industry is showing tremendous potential with rapid expansion and enhancing interest in the region. It has attracted investors who believe that cannabis light could lead the way into bringing the real cannabis stuff into the country very soon.
Cannabis light – a way to open the minds of Italy
While the legal implications of cannabis light and its role in bringing complete marijuana legalization is rocky, these products have surely helped open the minds of fellow Italians. Luigi Mantuano, the owner of a cannabis café in the region, shares his experience of serving hemp tea and other infused products. Even today, marijuana consumers face judgment as a druggie, and society is yet to accept the therapeutic benefits of the plant with an open mind. Yet the café aims to motivate those who seek the magic of the plant by giving them a place more open and social to medicate rather than having to hide in their homes.
The absence of rigid laws surrounding cannabis light has been the cause of legal confusion and proceedings on multiple occasions. Many spend the night in jail when fond of cannabis light flowers. But the interest of users from across the world is starting to involve the government in dictating the area with proper laws and actions to bring clarity.
Also, the views of the current political candidates are extreme, with one supporting legalization and others standing completely against it. The growing states’ income and economic stability through job creation, investments because of cannabis legalization in the USA is viewed as a positive step to encourage the same legalization in the European regions. The reducing criminal activities and incredible tax booms for states from cannabis income prove that cannabis legalization could be the turning point in boosting Italy`s economy.