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Legal Insights and Historical Overview


Can cannabis be cultivated in Italy?

Hemp cultivation has been legal since 2016 and has been beneficial for some Italian companies, which manufacture products such as hemp paste and construction materials. Additionally, the Italian army also cultivates cannabis for medicinal purposes, being the only authorized organization to do so.

Is CBD legal in Italy?

Therapeutic CBD oil is legal for medical use and can be obtained at pharmacies with a medical prescription. It can also be purchased without a prescription but must contain THC levels of 0.6% or less.

Medical and Personal Use

The cultivation, sale, and import of medical cannabis are permitted with authorization from the Ministry of Health, while personal use remains illegal but decriminalized. Possession of cannabis for personal use can result in fines, but not serious charges. The maximum amount for personal use is 1.5 grams, and exceeding this limit may lead to stricter penalties.

History of Cannabis in Italy

Hemp cultivation in Italy has ancestral roots dating back to Roman times, evidenced by significant cannabis cultivation in the 1st century A.D. There is also evidence of its cultivation during the Middle Ages, where it was used as a source of food, textiles, and construction materials.


In the early 20th century, the Italian hemp trade flourished, with four main varieties cultivated in different regions:

– Canapa Picola (small hemp) in the Arno Valley in Tuscany.

– La Bolonia (large hemp) in Bologna, Ferrara, and Rovigo.

– La Napolitana (variety of large seeds) in Naples.

– La Napolitana (variety of small seeds), also in Naples.

By the 1940s, Italy had become one of the leading hemp producers globally. However, this industry experienced a rapid decline after World War II. The introduction of synthetic fibers reduced the demand for hemp fabric, and the growing stigma associated with cannabis led the government to ban its cultivation.

Attitudes toward cannabis changed again in the early 21st century, when industrial hemp production was legalized in 2016, allowing companies to resume cannabis cultivation.

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