Italy's light marijuana could be banned

Italy’s “light marijuana” could be banned

The Supreme Court of Italy rules that the so-called “light marijuana” cannot be sold with a percentage of THC of 06%

The so-called “marihuana light” that has been sold for two years in Italy may have its days numbered. The scandal has put Italy on the international map of marijuana and hundreds of stores were created in which bags containing this “marijuana” were sold. Investors and banks have shown a lot of interest.

But this green gold fever seems to have been a dream that is becoming a nightmare due to judicial and political pressure.

“Light marijuana” was born as a by-product of hemp. The legal difference between marijuana and hemp is that it does not contain more than 0.3% THC. But this is true in North America. Because, in Europe, only 0.2% THC content is allowed to be considered hemp.

Italy, in another era, was a great producer of industrial hemp. The previous government that ruled in Italy before the current one wanted Italy to once again become an important power in the hemp sector. To facilitate the business, he allowed the hemp to have up to 6% THC, which is 3 times more than the level allowed in Europe.

Soon hundreds of stores appeared selling dried flowers bags of this hemp. Genetics appeared with names like “Chill Haus” and “Black Buddha” that sold very well. Of course, they have no psychoactive effect since it is the decaffeinated coffee of marijuana.

“Light marijuana” has generated more than 15,000 new jobs and generated 150 million Euros in less than three years.

The Supreme Court declared a few weeks ago that it was illegal to sell products derived from hemp that had the capacity to produce psychoactive effects. Obviously these judges have not smoked the dried flowers of this hemp nor have they eaten the cookies that are produced. Because if they had tried it they would know that they do not produce a psychoactive effect.

Some tests carried out and the opinion of the clients confirm this. Clients say that it produces a pleasant but not psychoactive effect. But the interior minister of law and order declared war on stores that display logos imitating cannabis leaves and has promised to close them, street by street and shop by shop, until there are none left in all of Italy.

For his part, Matteo Salvini has said that “the situation is disgusting.” He has stated that Italy cannot be allowed to have more than 1000 stores that sell drugs legally.

The owners of these small businesses consider it a war situation in which they are willing to go as far as necessary to defend their interests.

The owner of Green Planet, in the city of Caserta, was chained to the fence of his store, which remains closed this month, after a raid in which the police seized 16 grams of “light marijuana.”

Gioel Magini, the owner of a franchise called Cannabis Amsterdam Store, has proposed to file a class action lawsuit among all similar business owners to prevent them from closing their stores.

Magini had to close a pizzeria to open his store and he knows that if the government closes it, it will be his economic ruin. He believes that prohibiting this type of hemp for containing 0.6% THC is like banning alcohol-free beer to combat alcoholism.

In the European Union, the THC limit for the cannabis sativa plant to be considered hemp is 0.2 percent. However, an Italian law of December 2016 raised the limit to 0.6%, claiming that, naturally, there were variations in some plants.

While 0.6 percent is above the THC concentration required for hemp to turn into marijuana in a botanical book, Italian lawmakers thought it was too low to have a psychoactive effect. Logically, entrepreneurs in a country with such an impoverished economy saw an opportunity.

The hemp law that came into effect two and a half years ago allowed the sale of cosmetics and products made with hemp. The gift boutiques, the markets of the street and the independent cultivation workshops soon began to create new products like pasta with infusion of cannabis, olive oil and ice cream. But they also released jars and bags full of “marihuana light” buds. As marijuana was illegal, producers labeled their products as “collector’s items” not intended for consumption. Because the name “marihuana light” was just a commercial claim.

But now the Salvini government may close all these new stores because, according to Italy’s new legal position, they are selling drugs.

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