Stop to Light Cannabis? Reactions to the Government’s Amendment in the DDL sicurezza (Security Bill)

Opposition to the Government’s Amendment in the Security Bill

As NativaCBD, we want to bring to the attention of all our customers and supporters the important press release from the Canapa Sativa Italia Association dated May 26, 2024. We intend to express our strong opposition to the Government’s amendment, included in the security bill titled “MEASURES CONCERNING HEMP FLOWERS AND DERIVED PRODUCTS.” This regulation not only attempts to destroy our sector but also clearly violates European regulations.

Stop to Light Cannabis? What does the amendment to the DDL sicurezza (security bill) say?
The Italian government has presented an amendment to the security bill under review by the House committee, proposing changes to the law that regulates the industrial hemp supply chain, with THC content below 0.2%. The amendment bans the cultivation and sale of Light Cannabis flowers (with low THC content) for uses other than those expressly indicated by law, namely only for permitted industrial purposes. The trade or transfer of the flowers will be punished according to the regulations of the Consolidated Law on Narcotic Substances, equating light cannabis with non-light cannabis.
Which products would be banned?
According to the amendment, every derivative of the hemp plant will be prohibited. In addition to CBD flowers, this ban would also include food products such as seeds, pasta, and bread with Light Cannabis, as well as CBD oils, extracts, and teas, creams, and e-cigarette liquids. Essentially, there would be a ban on the trade, processing, and export of leaves, flowers, oils, resins, and any other substance derived from this plant. This would lead to the closure of currently active shops in the sector, and even tobacco shops would no longer be able to sell these types of products.

What are the reactions?

An Unjustified Repressive and Punitive MeasureRiccardo Magi, secretary of +Europa, stated to ANSA that this repressive and punitive measure by the government is unjustified and dramatic. According to him, the amendment aims to harm thousands of operators in the light cannabis sector, which has a low THC content and no psychotropic effects. Magi emphasizes that equating light cannabis with high-THC cannabis is a serious mistake and will have negative employment consequences in a sector that has seen many job opportunities grow in recent years. A clarifying intervention in the opposite direction would have been necessary, to allow the production and marketing of hemp flowers.

Moreover, Magi notes that while other advanced democracies, such as Germany, are moving towards the legalization of cannabis cultivation and possession with higher THC content, Italy has a government that sanctions even the legal kind. Constitutional lawyer Giuseppe Libutti states that ‘If approved, the bill will lead to legal disputes‘, explaining that the amendment seems based on prejudices against cannabis and contradicts the jurisprudence related to industrial hemp. If approved, the amendment will open the door to numerous legal disputes from sector operators who carry out lawful activities regulated by Law 246 of 2016.

Violation of European Regulations

The European Court of Justice, in its ruling of November 19, 2020 (case C-663/18), clearly established that CBD, devoid of psychoactive effects, cannot be considered a narcotic, and its marketing cannot be banned if legally produced in another EU member state. CBD has been recognized as not harmful to health, and its prohibition is not justified by available scientific data. Implementing a law that goes against these European directives is not only illegitimate but also ineffective and in contrast with already established jurisprudence.

Decision of the Lazio Regional Administrative Court (TAR)

To confirm this, the Lazio TAR, with judgments no. 2613 and 2616 of February 14, 2023, annulled the “officinali” decree published in the Official Gazette no. 115 of May 18, 2022, which had included cannabis sativa in the list of botanical varieties under special regime, limiting agricultural cultivation and allowing the commercialization of only seeds and their derivatives. The judgment reiterated that the restrictions imposed by Italian regulations were in contrast with Articles 34 and 36 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which guarantee the free movement of goods.

A Growing Sector

The light cannabis sector in Italy is worth about 150 million euros per year and employs 15,000 people. Despite the difficulties and harassment faced, we continue to produce and sell a safe and non-psychotropic product, contributing to the national economy and creating new jobs, especially among young people. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the declassification of cannabis and clarified that CBD is not a narcotic, further confirming the safety and legitimacy of our work. The government should focus on supporting our growth and consolidating our strong position in the European and global hemp market. Institutions should be allies of citizens and businesses, not hinder their development.

Stop to Light Cannabis? An attack on safety and legality

A study conducted in 2019 by the University of York revealed that the legalization of Light Cannabis sales reduced criminal activities related to the trafficking and dealing of THC Cannabis by up to 14%, resulting in an estimated loss of revenue for criminal organizations between 90 and 170 million euros. In the first year since its introduction, legal hemp proved to be an effective tool to combat the black market for THC Cannabis and improve public safety.

As the NativaCBD team, we fully support the statement from Canapa Sativa Italia, committing ourselves to fight to defend the Light Cannabis sector in our country. We will continue to defend our right to work in this sector and to promote a constructive dialogue for the good of the Italian economy and society. We invite all consumers to show their support by making a purchase on our website. A concrete gesture to counter prohibitionism and support a sector that deserves to be protected, defended, and encouraged by the institutions.

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