Everything you need to know about legal hemp cultivation in italy: necessary limits, incentives and authorizations
With the European Law, the provisions of the Italian government regarding the regulation and permits for the cultivation of Canapa Sativa L. or Canapa Light were issued.
This is the type of Hemp whose THC content (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance of hemp) is less than 0.2% or is within the tolerable parameters of 0.2%.
Tax incentives and financing on the cultivation of legal hemp
The European Law establishes the provision of incentives up to € 700,000 per year to speed up the growth of the hemp sector, not only in terms of production but also to improve the conditions and structures for subsequent absorption of the product of legal cannabis.
One of the main problems that legal hemp producers are forced to face concerns the market on which they can then place their product and the lack of an adequate apparatus of auxiliary services (in particular threshing).
Furthermore, those who start an agricultural company in 2018 are entitled to three years’ exemption from contributions, which fall to 65% and 50% in subsequent years. Other tax incentives then come from regional directives, which can provide additional funding for the cultivation of legal hemp.
Furthermore, cannabis sativa is registered among innovative agricultural crops, so that the farm or cooperative that starts cultivation can draw further tax and financing advantages by subscribing the register of innovative start-ups..
Read also: The 5 main benefits of marijuana CBD
Legal limits of the hemp cultivation in Italy
With the European Law the restrictions on the cultivation of legal hemp have been substantially reduced:
- There is no longer an obligation to notify the authorities when cultivation is started, but seed labels must be kept for a minimum of 12 months after purchase;
- The controls of the state police or the financial police are done on a single sample, strictly in the presence of the farmer. Only in case of exceeding the threshold of 0.2% of THC they can order the seizure or destruction of the plantation;
- The responsibilities of the farmer, if the tetrahydrocannabinol of the cultivation is within 0.2%, are null;
- Certified seeds allow traders, distributors and buyers to free themselves from the criminal liability of hemp plants with THC levels above the 0.2% tolerance threshold.
Cultivating legal hemp: soil types and suggestions
Cannabis Sativa L. plants, the legal hemp in Italy, are extremely versatile: they prefer fertile alluvial soils but also adapt to altitudes up to 1500 meters.
They suffer from stagnant water that blocks growth and causes chlorosis. For the rest, particular attention must be paid to the initial period of sowing and germination: the seed needs an initially damp soil to germinate, a seeding depth of about 1 or 2 centimeters and a distance of about 15-20 centimeters between one seedling and the other.
For the rest, the cannabis sativa plant suffers from the presence of previous weeding but does not require special care:
- the speed of growth, in fact, makes it an auto herbicide plant, capable of quickly prevailing on weeds and gramineous;
- in normal conditions it does not need irrigation and the particularly extensive root system improves the soil structure;
- in addition, the normal release of leaves at the end of the cycle naturally fertilizes the soil, making it possible to register increases in the production of successive cultures;
- sowing is to be done in March / April and harvesting generally takes place in August, 10 days after the flowering of the male plants:
- for haymaking, the operation is particularly simple: it is cut with a mowing bar and packaged after a period of partial maceration on the ground;
- for seed production, on the other hand, the situation becomes more complicated as it is necessary to resort to threshing. The operation is not in itself complex in the presence of plants of medium height, up to 2.5 meters (for taller plants it becomes extremely complex and requires very specific machinery); the difficulties lie in the need to clean the threshing machine before and after the operation to avoid residues of other crops or to contaminate the following ones;
- after threshing, the seed must be dried to prevent it from rapidly deteriorating. The drying can take place either through a special air dryer, with a temperature lower than 40 ° C, or on the ground, spreading the seeds on a pavement forming a layer not exceeding 5 cm, which must be turned over in the following days to allow adequate ventilation, being careful not to damage the seeds.
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