Italy’s new hemp laws draw praise

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A major Italian farming group is hailing new laws governing hemp that passed earlier this month aimed at streamlining various requirements related to farming and production.

“These changes can help create new job opportunities in rural areas that can contribute to sustainable growth and economic and employment recovery,” Roberto Moncalvo, president of Coldiretti, an agricultural association that supports farm families, told Canapa Industriale.

Hemp boom is on

“The boom in the cultivation of hemp is an excellent demonstration of the ability of farms to discover and experience new frontiers and meet the growing needs of new consumers,” Moncalvo said. “This shows how the green can economy open up employment opportunities in rural areas that can contribute to sustainable growth and economic recovery.”

Italian hemp stakeholders say 200% growth of hemp fields in recent years made it obvious that the government should support the industry in light of hemp’s economic potential. Italian hemp fields in 2016 were at around 3,000 hectares (7,500 acres), with cultivation reported rapidly spreading in the regions of Puglia, Piedmont, Veneto Basilicata, but also in Lombardy, Friuli, Sicily and Sardinia.

“The new laws will support the boom,” Moncalvo said.

The new laws mean:

  • Italian farmers no longer need report their crops to local police, and only need to hold on to seed certification documents and purchase invoices for 12 months.
  • The percentage of THC allowable in hemp plants ranges up to 0.6%. Any inspections are performed by a single entity and always in the presence of the farmer, and inspection staff are expected to release a sample taken for possible counter-checks.
  • If THC in any sample exceeds 0.6%, the court may order the seizure or destruction of the crop, but will not hold the farmer liable.
  • The government will provide financial support to promote further growth of the hemp sector.

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