Tobacconists and specialized shops will be allowed to stock cannabis products, which must not contain more than 0.5 percent of the psychoactive compound THC, from January 1st.

Parliament approved the amendment overnight on Thursday after a long-running row pitching former interior minister Matteo Salvini against small business owners and the agriculture lobby.

Populist leader Salvini had vowed to close all shops selling so-called cannabis light.

Italy’s agriculture association Coldiretti welcomed parliament’s move, noting that the area under cannabis production in Italy had grown from 400 hectares in 2013 to 4,000 hectares last year.