WHILE Italy is both one of the earliest and largest medical cannabis markets in Europe, new data has revealed the ongoing inability of its system to ‘serve patients’ needs’.
Italy’s medical cannabis market has been growing by double-digit percentage points for a number of years, yet the country continues to see its military hold a monopoly over domestic cultivation.
With the military’s domestic production failing to grow since 2019, this monopoly is strangling the growth of one of Europe’s most important medical cannabis markets, now the second largest in Europe by number of patients.
Prohibition Partners’ Industry and Data Analyst Conor O’Brien told BusinessCann: “The government monopoly over medical cannabis production in Italy has been an unmitigated failure.”
New figures procured from the Italian Ministry of Health by Italian journalist Fabrizio Dentini show that while domestic supply grew last year from a low in 2020 of just 37kg, it was still a fraction of total demand.
In 2021, the Italian military grew 101.904kg of medical cannabis, marking a 175% increase on the previous year, but this was a 17% decline on the more comparable 123kg in 2019.
Despite the recovery from such a dramatic decline in 2020, this represented a fraction of the total medical cannabis sold in Italian pharmacies that year.
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