Marijuana Moment reported yesterday
Italy’s health minister on Tuesday signaled government support for a rapid and drastic expansion of that country’s medical marijuana program, including making cannabis available in retail pharmacies and allowing private companies to cultivate the drug.
Medical cannabis has been legal in Italy since 2007. But to access medicine, patients have two options, neither ideal: Import cannabis from abroad, which is prohibitively expensive. Or access it domestically, from a growhouse in Florence run by the military, which has so far had a monopoly on production thanks to an intransigent bureaucracy and which doesn’t grow enough to meet demand.
But access to healthcare in Italy is a constitutional right, and that includes access to medical marijuana. Health Minister Giulia Grillo appears to recognize this.
Following a tour of the Military Chemical Pharmaceutical Plant, where the Italian army maintains its heavily guarded cannabis-cultivation operation, Grillo vowed in a Facebook post to ramp up the country’s marijuana production capacity.
To do that, the Italian government will explore licensing private companies via public-private partnerships, she said.
She also said she would “make every effort to make medical cannabis available” in pharmacies alongside other prescription drugs.