The Italian Parliament has moved a medical cannabis bill forward to the Senate. If adopted, the legislation would create a uniform framework across Italy for marijuana as medicine.
In 2007, Italy’s Department of Health made a decree which allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients who need it. The Italian army was even given the task in 2016 to grow cannabis to cut the price of the medicine to €8 per gram for Italian patients.
Despite the legal shift for the medicine which started a decade ago, the Italian Parliament has yet to adopt a comprehensive set of national regulations for medical marijuana. That particular legislation has taken a step forward this week with the passing of a bill to the Senate floor.
“This [bill] is based on a series of different proposals, among [them] is our popular proposal of law,” said Antonella Soldo, president of Radicali Italiani in an interview with Marijuana.com.
Last year, the Radicali movement and the Luca Coscioni Association secured 68,000 signatures from citizens asking for legal adult-use marijuana. That bill did not move forward but Soldo said the portion for medical cannabis in her legislation was included in this latest document. “[In] this proposal, they maintained just the part referring to medical marijuana,” said Soldo.
Although the bill does not go as far as Radicali originally wanted, Soldo is aware that the proposed legislation is progress. “This is a first step and it is important mostly for all the patients that suffer today. Only few years ago this possibility seemed to be so far, but now — thanks also to our [efforts] — it is a reality.”
The legislation that has moved forward would allow doctors to prescribe medical cannabis for pain management and other conditions. Prescriptions would be limited to three months at a time.
Further, the cultivation, preparation, and distribution of cannabis medicine would commence from a pharmaceutical plant in Florence. If necessary, the import of medical cannabis as well as additional licenses for cultivation may be authorized to meet domestic demand.
Individual autonomous regions and provinces would be in charge of monitoring prescriptions and collecting data on patients and amounts prescribed. These territories would also report to their governing state body regarding projected cannabis needs for the following year.
Finally, cannabis research in Italy would include regular updates for doctors and other healthcare professionals on the latest applications for the medicine.
The bill will now head to the Senate floor for further examination.
This article was originally published on Marijuana.com.
About Jon Hiltz: Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.