Italian Hemp Orgs Head To European Commission Over Security Bill Amendments

Business of Cannabis reports

Italy’s hemp industry has called on the European Commission (EC) to intervene after the government moved to ban the cultivation, production and marketing of hemp.

A number of Italian cannabis and agricultural trade groups have written to the EC arguing that a recent amendment to the country’s Security Bill could ‘violate European Union law on free competition and movement of goods.’

The groups have called for the amendment to be cancelled by the EC, stating it would wipe out the country’s entire hemp industry, leading to the closure of some 3000 businesses and the loss of 15,000 jobs supported by the sector.

It marks the latest attempt by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s administration to crack down on the ‘cannabis light’ industry, following numerous so-far failed attempts since her election to power in 2022.

What happened?

Late last month, the government proposed an amendment to the Security Bill on ‘measures concerning hemp inflorescences and products derived therefrom’.

The amendment is now being considered by the Chamber of Deputies, where it will examine the amendment and hear expert opinions before it is debated, voted upon and potentially sent to the Senate for a final vote.

In what leading Italian hemp trade group Federcanapa described as a ‘grotesque crackdown’ on the industry, the amendment would effectively render all commercial activity surrounding industrial hemp, even that with THC below 0.3%, illegal in Italy.

Article 13-bis of the Security Bill, which covers a range of issues far beyond hemp, would prohibit the ‘importation, processing, possession, transfer, distribution, trade , transport, dispatch, delivery, and sale to the public for consumption, even in semi-finished, dried or shredded form’.

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