Italy is set to allow the small-scale cultivation of up to 4 cannabis plants at home, after a reform was approved by the Lower House’s justice committee on Wednesday.
According to an article on ANSA, president Mario Perantoni announced that “The cultivation of no more than 4 ‘female’ plants at home is decriminalised” but sentences for trafficking and distribution of cannabis would increase from up to six years to up to 10.
The vote, while encouraging, will still need to be ratified pending amendments and debated in the Upper House before being finalised and enshrined in law. Italy already has a fairly relaxed public approach to cannabis, allowing the sale of ‘cannabis light‘. These high CBD strains of cannabis containing less than 0.6% THC are sold across the country in dispensary style shops.
A 2019 study by the University of Magna Graecia, Université Catholique de Louvain, and the Erasmus School of Economics showed that Police confiscations of illegal marijuana declined with the proliferation of cannabis light, along with a reduction of arrests for drug-related offences. The study suggested that this growing legal market removed an estimated 90–170 million euros per year from the hands of organized criminal gangs. Allowing small scale home grows of cannabis would further reduce the proliferation of criminal supplied cannabis and allow citizens of the country access to cannabis without fear of prosecution.
This article was edited to clarify the vote will need to be approved by the Upper House before becoming legally binding.