Home Grow In Italy: Just Around The Corner?

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The country is poised to follow a trend seen in multiple European countries – namely introducing recreational reform with a limited home grow option

Italy may join the European club of countries allowing home grow by the end of the year. A bill to allow home cultivation of up to four plants finally reached the Chamber of Deputies (the Italian version of the American House of Representatives) in late June.

If passed, the bill would allow not only home grow but would also allow judges to impose reduced sentences for those who still are considered in violation of the new law. It would also require judges to impose penalties on a case-by-case basis.

The point of the legislation is to reduce the amount of money flowing directly into the coffers of organized crime and rectify shortages in the country’s medical cannabis infrastructure, provision, and distribution system.

The bill is expected to be voted on in the coming weeks before being considered by the Italian Senate in early fall.

The Status of Cannabis Reform in Italy

Italy has largely followed other countries, namely Germany, into the cannabis legalization debate. The country began medical cultivation in earnest after Germany passed its own medical legalization bill in 2017 – with the oversight of the same performed by the military.

Beyond this, CBD or cannabis lite as it is referred to across Europe, has become extremely popular in the country. In addition, case law on home grow has gotten increasingly compelling. Despite the failure of a petition to legalize recreational cannabis at the Italian Supreme Court late last year, it is clear that the issue is moving forward anyway at the legislative level – probably also speeded along by continuing reform including on the home grow front in other European countries.

Home Grow – The European First Step Towards Full Legalization

Over the past few months, the idea of implementing home grow as a first step towards greater recreational reform has gone from anathema to popular on-ramp to full normalization.

Malta started the trend late last year. Luxembourg, whose government promised full recreational reform by 2024, subsequently followed suit this spring with a similar idea. Portugal is well on the way to doing the same. Germany, in all likelihood, will also implement some kind of home grow in the legalization discussion. This is because there is a similar problem with medical cannabis provision and compensation in Italy. Not enough patients are getting their prescriptions approved, forcing them into the black market – or home cultivation.

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