Hemp flower for “extraction uses” is now officially listed as part of the agricultural product list for medical purposes in Italy.
Italy’s Agriculture Minister Theresa Bellanova approved a decree officially listing hemp flower “canapa infiorescenza” under the medicinal plant category. The decree was later published in the country’s gazette in August.
At the moment, there is no consensus on how hemp is treated in Europe, with cannabis regulations varying widely from country to country. Despite the gray area surrounding hemp elsewhere in Europe, growing hemp for cannabinoid extraction signifies the potential for increased market prospects in Italy.
The listing opens up an opportunity for the recognition of hemp as an agricultural product in the country. Giacomo Bulleri, a board member of the Italian hemp association Federcanapa, stated that the crop is indeed “a step closer” to recognition as an agriculture product.
While Bulleri admits that it is still too early to arrive at conclusions about the crop’s future, the attorney believes that the change is a positive signal for the sector.
EU regulators are facing hard choices when it comes to the legality of cultivating and processing Industrial hemp. The crop’s flower remains a subject of debate by EU regulators trying to reconcile the rapid demand for CBD products and previous cannabis laws.
The debate on the legality of hemp revolves around the UN’s 1961 treaty on Narcotic Drugs, which lumps hemp and marijuana as they are both part of the Cannabis sativa family.
However, varieties of cannabis sativa with at least 0.3 percent THC content are legal for cultivation in the EU. Accordingly, the 2016 Hemp law in Italy promotes hemp cultivation with THC levels of between 0.2 and 0.6 percent.
According to Bulleri, the 2016 law and now the medicinal plants decree further strengthen hemp flowerings’ position.