In a move that has stunned Italy’s cannabidiol (CBD) industry, the government is preparing to classify CBD oil — a mainstream product widely sold as a food supplement — as a narcotic substance.
- Italian authorities have catapulted the latest anti-CBD legislation into action, heading towards designating CBD oil as a narcotic.
- The controversial decision has already drawn significant backlash from industry stakeholders and legal experts.
- Italy’s budding CBD industry faces another severe challenge in addition to its ongoing struggle with previous attempts to repress ‘cannabis light’.
On August 21, 2023, the Italian Health Ministry officially triggered a directive initially decreed in 2020 by then Health Minister, Roberto Speranza. This action stands to position CBD oil — one of Italy’s top-selling CBD commodities — alongside Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the country’s table of medicinal products, highlighting it as a narcotic substance.
This sudden turn of events occurred exactly a day after substantial resistance from the CBD industry led to the temporary suspension of the original decree. In response, Canapa Sativa Italia (CSI), a renowned Italian cannabis industry association, has been fighting tooth and nail to ensure that the decree, which would classify CBD as a drug, does not become law.
BRITISH CANNABIS™ Breaks Down the New Decree:
It’s evident that this newest decree just aims to lift the earlier suspension, rekindling plans to reclassify CBD. This move represents yet another massive setback for Italy’s CBD industry at the hands of Meloni’s administration.
Industry insiders contend that the policy is critically flawed and will cause significant ramifications for Italy. The CSI claimed that the proposed decree, “is not only devoid of scientific foundation, but will also have serious repercussions for Italy.”
Adding to this, critics have highlighted the contradictions in their approach. It wasn’t too long ago — in February this year— when an Italian court reversed a restrictive decree that had previously labelled hemp leaves and flowers as narcotics.
Previous Anti-CBD Developments:
CBD market insiders and casual observers would acknowledge that this latest decree was on the cards. Over the past few months, the Italian government has been gunning for more stringent regulations on ‘cannabis light’. The plans were quickly withdrawn yet showed a clear pattern of events suggesting a concerted crackdown on the industry.
Moreover, the ‘Canapa Mundi’ festival in February 2023, a hugely popular event with an estimated 25,000 attendees and 230 cannabis light and hemp brands, was interrupted by a police raid involving searches and fines.
What BRITISH CANNABIS™ has to say:
While policymakers contemplate the implementation of their plan, Italy’s industry stands firm and pledges not to back down. It’s urging the government to consider scientific evidence and revise the decree that classifies CBD as a narcotic.
The shockwaves of this decision could create a market paradox where CBD products produced outside Italy would freely circulate within the country while local producers face extensive restrictions.
Legal experts such as Carlo Alberto Zaina have also voiced their concerns, calling for a unified legal battle from the industry players to combat this decree, which threatens the very existence of countless businesses related to the sector.
In stark contrast to these developments, BRITISH CANNABIS™ champions the freedom of entrepreneurship and a balanced regulatory environment for the CBD industry. Firmly positioned in the arena of scientific discovery and informed decisions, we believe the exciting potential of the cannabis industry, especially CBD, merits further exploration and deserves to be supported, not suppressed.
As CBD’s therapeutic benefits continue to illuminate human health and wellness, we do hope that Italy, along with the rest of the world, can embrace this thriving industry, treating it as a catalyst for growth rather than an adversary.