The Italian Ministry of Agriculture has registered the hemp flower for "extraction uses" on an official list of agricultural products for medical use.
The change signals the possibility of an increase in commercial outlets in Italy for growing hemp for cannabinoid extraction, despite uncertainty over how the plant is processed elsewhere in Europe. The inclusion on the list was subject to decree approved by the Minister of Agriculture Teresa Bellanova and published in the Official Journal in August. The hemp flower, "canapa infiorescenza", has been listed under the heading "medicinal plants" in a table of agricultural products.
This table shows the maximum unit prices that can be used to determine the insurable values of the products.
According to Giacomo Bulleri, lawyer on the board of the Italian hemp association Federcanapa, the inclusion of the hemp flower in the list suggests that the plant has taken one step closer to its recognition as an agricultural product.
“It's too early to draw any conclusions, but it's definitely a good signal for the industry,” Bulleri told Hemp Industry Daily.
The legality of harvesting and processing industrial hemp flower is under increased scrutiny from European regulators, who are faced with a growing market for CBD products on the one hand and the growing market for CBD products. definition of cannabis from a 1961 treaty on the other hand.
Much of the controversy stems from the fact that marijuana and industrial hemp both come from the Cannabis sativa plant.
According to the 1961 Single United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs, cannabis is defined as "the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when they are not accompanied by the tops) of which the resin was not extracted, whatever the name one gives to them ”. The treaty exempts hemp fiber and seed.
Today, over 70 low THC Cannabis sativa strains are legal for culture in the EU.
But the wording of the United Nations convention has led some countries to ban the harvesting of the hemp flower or to require growers to destroy flowering tops after harvest.
According to Mr Bulleri, the inclusion of the hemp flower in the section of medicinal plants in Italy implies that the flowers are not only covered by the country's hemp law from 2016, but also by the plant decree. medicinal.
This means that EU-certified hemp varieties - that is, varieties containing no more than 0,2% THC - could be grown and treated as a medicinal plant, he said. .