Cannabis and legalisation, circumstances in 2019 and the expectations for 2020.
While the legalisation of marijuana is well underway in the United States and involves many states, things in France seem to be slowing down, to the point that even the legalisation of CBD cannabis finds many problems in its way.
They had already tried it in 2019, but the situation did not go as they would have liked.
The legalisation of CBD cannabis: the facts in 2019
Italy is the most active European country and thus can lead to the rest of Europe. Let’s start at the beginning: M5S Senator Matteo Mantero has always campaigned for cannabis growers and traders with amounts of legal THC under the law (up to 0.5%).
On 30 November 2019, he and other MEPs were due to table two amendments in favour of the legal trade in cannabis. The bills, in fact, were withdrawn before they were tabled; Mantero, by the way, was absent.
After apologising on Facebook to traders and farmers, the senator decided to resubmit a sub-amendment to the Hemp Act 242/2016 to the Committee on Budget.
And so the amendment was accepted on 12 December 2019 by the majority of MEPs and signed by Monica Cirinnà and Daniela Sbrollini (PD), Paola Nugnes and Loredana De Petris (LeU) and Francesco Mollame and Matteo Mantero (M5S).
However, it took the signature of Senate President Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, who rejected the proposal on 16 December 2019, deeming it objectionable, and following the centre-right line (against the legalisation of CBD cannabis).
What would the amendment on legal hemp have allowed, which was rejected in the Senate?
The amendment rejected by Casellati would have allowed the production and sale of all parts of the CBD marijuana plants (with THC less than 0.5%), including:
As a result, it would protect the thousands of businesses that have arisen as a result of the passage of the Hemp Act 242/2016. Besides more than 10,000 workers in the sector. If CBD marijuana were banned, many families would be left without pay.
Not to mention the turnover around the THC-free marijuana sector: in 2018, sales reached only 150 million euros for a European country such as Italy. A gold mine when you consider the economic situation of the country.
But the M5S does not give up and, in 2020, decided to try again.
January 2020: the new amendment on legal marijuana
Despite the rejection by the President of the Senate, some thirty deputies (members of the Five Star Movement, Free and Equal, the Democratic Party and Europe) are once again trying to liberalise CBD cannabis.
They focus mainly on the protection of businesses and workers in this sector, but also on an issue that is often overlooked by other parties: Cannabis Sativa is not a drug. It is because the percentages of THC it contains are within limits imposed by law and because they are very close to 0%.
As a result, psychotropic action is not present, also considering the antipsychotic effect of CBD (contained in large quantities in CBD marijuana flowers).
So why should we demonise a product that is not a drug, that brings substantial revenue into the coffers of the state, and that saves thousands of people employed in the sector?
Back to our subject, the thirty or so members have once again proposed the legalisation of CBD cannabis with an amendment to the Milleproroghe decree. Centre-right MPs continue to disapprove of the decision to make the issue a priority, but it is a measure on which the fate of more than 10,000 people and thousands of businesses depends.
The amendment, the full text of which is not yet known, would formalise the sale of seeds, leaves, resin, and CBD cannabis flowers, as well as preparations based on CBD, one of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids of hemp.
Of course, all these products must comply with the limits of THC imposed by law and therefore do not exceed 0.5% of tetrahydrocannabinol.
If the proposal is rejected, maybe we should all go to San Marino…
Read also: Medical cannabis: compounds are recognized, but pharmacists cannot distribute them to patients
Legalisation in San Marino
If the amendment were adopted, tens of thousands of people would have relief and finally find peace after months of crusades against CBD cannabis.
Meanwhile, even the Republic of San Marino – previously a strictly prohibitionist – sees a gold mine in the marijuana trade with a low concentration of THC. A group of citizens proposed the sale of this product with the possibility of using it for recreational purposes, obtaining parliamentary approval.
From September 2019 to today, there is no further news on this, but if the proposal were to continue, the port of San Marino could become a tourist destination for all Italians and not only!