Cannabis in Italy. What is the marijuana legal situation in this country?
The marijuana legal framework in Italy is uncommon among European Union countries. Thus, it is not illegal to consume Cannabis in Italy, but it is illegal to market or possess it. Moreover, Italy took one of the first steps towards medical Cannabis by legalizing its use in 2007. On the other hand, penalties and sanctions for marijuana possession in Italy are often administrative and can be solved with small amounts of money.
In today’s article we analyse the marijuana situation in Italy through some key points that you can find in the table of contents below.
Table of contents:
Marijuana Possession and use in Italy
As mentioned in the introduction, it is illegal to possess marijuana but it is not illegal to use it. This rule was consolidated in 1990 and has remained unchanged since then. The legal framework for Cannabis in Italy is therefore not entirely unfavourable and is in fact quite progressive compared to other countries. In 2014 Italy ruled that Cannabis is one of the least dangerous drugs and this contributes to a possibility of a better future.
It is certainly shocking that possession is prohibited but not consumption. Therefore, if someone is seized consuming marijuana on a public street, they will most likely be punished for possession and not for use. Thus, marijuana possession can lead to fines and even losing the driver’s license for 1 to 3 months. On the other hand, if it is the first time that a person faces a seizure, may only face a verbal warning and not have to pay fines.
Hemp cultivation for industrial purposes is regulated in Italy. This has opened the door to hemp flowers with a low THC content sales, which is known in Italy as light weed and is commonly found in dispensaries. However, it is important to note that although this type of cannabis is legal, its use is not legal in any form. Dispensaries thus use a legal loophole, selling hemp flowers as collectibles.
Growing Marijuana in Italy
Since 2016 it is completely legal to grow hemp in Italy. Despite being a Mediterranean country, with a great climate for many Cannabis strains and being a demanding market, Italy does not allow growing marijuana seeds for recreational purposes. However, hemp, as we have mentioned, is legal to grow for industrial purposes. Thus, many hemp crops in Italy are involved in the manufacture of by-products for the building industry, the textile sector, etc.
In 2016, Italy discussed the possibility of allowing growing of up to 5 Cannabis plants for personal use. However, many conservative voices opposed this possibility, like the Catholic Church and the extreme right and they completely overturned this path.
Marijuana sales in Italy
Selling marijuana in Italy is totally prohibited and punishable. However, the penalties for offenders are less than those imposed on traffickers of more harmful drugs such as heroin or cocaine. In other words, a person arrested for selling Cannabis can face up to 6 years in prison, while a person arrested for selling heroin can face up to 22 years in prison.
As in other European countries, aggravating circumstances can also increase prison sentences. On the other hand, if the marijuana seizure is deemed to be small, the penalties may be exclusively financial and the accused may not face prison sentences.
Medicinal Cannabis and CBD situation in Italy
From 2013 medicinal Cannabis use in Italy is decriminalised. Thus, with a doctor’s permission it is possible to use medicinal marijuana-based drugs. The only problem is that until 2017, medical cannabis patients could only access Bedrocan, a high-priced drug that not all users could afford.
In 2014, the Italian Parliament goes one step further and allows marijuana growing for medicinal purposes. However, the monopoly on the Italian medical cannabis production fell exclusively on the Ministry of Defence, which meant that just a few laboratories could carry out research and produce effective drugs for different pathologies. Today, Florence is the only city in Italy where medicinal Cannabis is grown, as the headquarters of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Products is in that city.
Despite the fact that Italy does not have a very extensive list of medicinal Cannabis drugs, the demand for this type of drug is increasing every year in Italy, which is already one of the major countries demanding this type of drug. The problem is perhaps the lack of variety and the high price of these products, which forces many Italians to get their medicinal marijuana illegally.
Finally, it is legal to use CBD in Italy. The THC concentration of CBD-rich marijuana can never exceed 0.6% to be legal. This is why there are many dispensaries for hemp flowers with a high CBD content throughout the country.
Marijuana use Fines and Penalties in Italy
As we have seen, marijuana possession is not illegal as long as it is for personal use. What is illegal is the consumption of marijuana in public. If the Cannabis or marijuana resin seizure is less than 1.5 grams, it may all result in a warning and the seized person may not face fines or imprisonment. However, if the amount exceeds this figure, the seized person may have to pay a sum of 200€ on the spot.
On the other hand, penalties for selling marijuana are up to 75000€ and imprisonment of up to 6 years. Furthermore, depending on the conditions of the warning and the aggravating circumstances, these penalties may be up to double. This is the case for drug trafficking with minors, organized gangs, weapons use, etc.
Sending Marijuana Seeds to Italy
It is totally legal to sell or buy marijuana seeds in Italy. There is also no restriction on receiving seeds from other countries. But growing them is not allowed and many growers have to operate illegally.
At Experiencia Natural there is one of the largest catalogues of marijuana seeds and shipments are made to most places in Europe. We are experts in safe and discreet shipments.
Cannabis in Italy – Laws, Use, and History
Using cannabis in Italy is not illegal. However, possessing or selling it is. The law is lenient on those caught with cannabis for the first time, but repeat offences usually incur administrative sanctions. Italy legalised cannabis for medicinal use in 2007, when the government acknowledged the therapeutic benefits of THC for a variety of medical conditions.
- CBD Products
- Legal under 0.6% THC
- Recreational cannabis
- Medicinal cannabis
- Legal since 2007
Cannabis laws in Italy
Can you possess and use cannabis in Italy?
The 1990 Consolidated Law is still used as a framework for the prevention, prohibition and punishment of drug-related activities. Under this law, use of cannabis is not illegal, but possession is.
Law 79 (introduced in 2014) identified cannabis as one of the less dangerous drugs. Possessing cannabis may result in the suspension of a driving licence, or the loss of it for one to three months. For harder drugs, this punishment is extended to two to twelve months. First-time offenders usually receive a warning and a formal request, asking them to stop using cannabis.
The law further changed in 2016, permitting and regulating hemp production. This resulted in what some call Italy’s ‘cannabis mania’, with many retailers selling ‘cannabis light’ in their shops. While this can be purchased freely, the law does not permit its consumption in any form. Instead, it is sold as a ‘collectors’ item’ and can only be used for ‘technical purposes’.
Can you sell cannabis in Italy?
It is illegal to sell or supply cannabis in Italy. If caught selling cannabis, the punishment is less severe than for ‘hard drugs’ (e.g. cocaine or heroin). Selling heroin, for example, can result in up to twenty two years in prison. By contrast, sale of cannabis only results in a maximum of six years.
There are some exceptions to this. If the offence is regarded as minor, the prison sentence is limited to a maximum of four years and could be as little as six months. When passing sentence, the Italian judicial system takes into account the mode of sale, the offender’s character, their conduct and the motives for selling.
Can you grow cannabis in Italy?
Hemp cultivation has been legal in Italy since 2016. This has proved to be of significant benefit to some Italian businesses, who have started manufacturing hemp-based products such as hemp pasta and building materials. It is also legally grown by the Italian military – the only organisation currently permitted to grow medicinal-strength cannabis. At present, they are struggling to keep up with demand.
Also in 2016, Italy’s parliament debated the possibility of legalising the cultivation of up to five plants for personal use. The suggestion met with strong opposition, notably from Catholic law-makers and the far-right political parties.
Is CBD legal in Italy?
Therapeutic CBD oil (used for medical conditions) is legal to purchase and use. It can only be purchased with a doctor’s prescription from a pharmacy.
It is also legal to purchase CBD oil without a prescription, but the levels of THC (the component that provides the ‘high’) must be 0.6% or less. It can be sold as a ‘food additive’ (much like hempseed oil) but not for ‘technical use’.
Can cannabis seeds be sent to Italy?
It is legal to purchase and sell cannabis seeds in most European countries, including Italy. It is also legal to send them in the post. However, Italian law does not permit the cultivation of cannabis seeds, so you cannot grow plants from them.
The sale and purchase of cannabis flowers (known as buds) is also legal, as long as the THC content is below 0.6%. Called ‘cannabis light’ by Italians, the ‘bud’ industry is thriving. Gennaro Maulucci, who organises a hemp-based trade fair in Italy, comments that: “It’s a new economy, it feels like Silicon Valley.” He adds that “even cannabis light can contribute to the normalisation of cannabis.”
Medicinal cannabis in Italy
In 2013, the Italian government legalised the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. But up until 2017, patients were only able to use Bedrocan – a product that is imported from the Netherlands and is expensive to buy.
In 2014, parliament legalised cannabis production in Italy. However, only the Ministry of Defence were permitted to grow it. As a result, the military-owned Institute of Pharmaceuticals in Florence is the only place that cultivates cannabis for medicinal use. Astonishing as it may seem, the Italian military are responsible for growing cannabis!
Demand for medicinal cannabis has been increasing steadily year after year. Some, however, regard the price and complexity of obtaining it as not worth the effort. This means that individuals are still turning to black market suppliers, rather than operating within the law.
Industrial hemp in Italy
In the 1940s, Italy was believed to be one of the world’s largest producers of hemp. Over 100 hectares of land were devoted to its cultivation. This changed after World War II, when hemp production was banned entirely.
In 2017, the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies issued a new directive stating that hemp cultivation was legal again. Stipulations were put into place:
- The level of THC should not exceed 0.2%, as stated in European legislation
- If it is higher but does not exceed 0.6%, the farmer will not be penalised
- If plants contain more than 0.6% THC, the authorities have the right to destroy or impound the farmer’s crops / growing facility
Italy’s political parties and cannabis
Many of the popular political parties in Italy have differing views on the legalisation of cannabis. The Five Star Movement (who are largely ‘anti-establishment’) believes that it should be legalised, as do the Democratic Party (PD).
Their views are met with strong opposition. The far-right League Party are openly against cannabis use and oppose all suggestions to legalise it. Likewise, the Roman Catholic Church adopts a strong stance against it.
With Italy’s political future in the balance, the legalisation of cannabis relies largely on which party will be voted into government next.
Good to know
If you are travelling to Italy (or currently reside there), it is useful to know the following:
Is it legal to buy marijuana seeds in Italy?
Everything you need to know if you are wondering if buying marijuana seeds is legal in italy
On the internet, you can find the most different products: from books to electronic products, from clothes to plants … And for a few years now you can even buy cannabis seeds online! But is it legal to buy marijuana seeds in Italy (the country of origin of SensorySeeds) or is there a risk of breaking the law?
PSYCHO XXL AUTOMIX
Today we will answer all your doubts about this. By reading the article, you will find out if you can buy weed seeds in Italy and if you can grow them and much more information.
Buying cannabis seeds in Italy is legal – here’s why
Cannabis seeds are products that can potentially create plants with high THC content. However, they do not contain cannabinoids: these active ingredients are produced by the marijuana plant (especially from the resin produced by the flowers), while the seeds do not contain THC, CBD or other substances.
They contain only proteins, fatty acids, dietary fibre and (to a lesser extent) water, vitamins and minerals. Until they produce a cannabis plant, they are conventional seeds, rich in nutritional properties and comparable to flax or chia seeds. Because they do not contain cannabinoids, marijuana seeds can be bought without any consequences.
Of course, to be included in the diet, cannabis seeds must be dried and packaged in a container or bag bearing the necessary certifications and authorisations to sell food products.
Products that do not have these authorisations, such as BSF seeds, are called “collectable cannabis seeds”.
Buying collectable cannabis seeds is legal
If you’ve been asking yourself this question, today you finally have the answer: after buying marijuana seeds online (or in one of the few physical stores), you can collect them and not grow them.
Once you receive them at home, by law, you cannot plant cannabis seeds to germinate them and give life to the seedlings. You would be committing a criminal offence or an administrative offence as the case may be (as in some situations, the Supreme Court has abolished the criminal offence).
Specifically, an administrative offence exists if the authorities find out that your hobby is growing marijuana. However, you can prove that you are doing it for personal use only. For example, growing one or at most two seedlings, not having a precision scale at home, not having small bags to pack the heads and much more could indicate that you are growing for personal use and not for sale.
The administrative offence provides for payment of the fine and possible inclusion in a rehabilitation program, as opposed to the criminal offence which involves incarceration or house arrest.
To avoid these problems, it is therefore essential to respect Italian legislation. Do not plant cannabis seeds unless you have moved to a country where it is possible to grow cannabis at home for recreational and/or therapeutic use (as in some cities in Spain, the United States and other countries).
However, in Italy, you can buy any marijuana seeds online without incurring penalties or other measures.
Variety of cannabis seeds to collect
On SensorySeeds, you will find collectable weed seeds of 3 different types:
, which means they have more than 90% chance of giving life to female plants. : Flowers can be harvested in up to 11 weeks. Besides, auto flower seeds BSF, the seed bank that collaborates with SensorySeeds, are also feminized. , also called fast growing weed seeds: these are cannabis seeds with rapid development and flowering, so much so that the buds can be harvestedafter only 6 or 7 weeks.
All these seeds can be of different varieties, for example, Gorilla Glue seeds, Gelato XXL and many more. And everything, as you can well imagine, can be bought online for collectors.
Every seed you can buy from SensorySeeds is certified by the manufacturer BSF Seeds, vacuum packed and subjected to strict quality control before being released for sale. All seeds are genuinely at their maximum potential, ripe and free of pests or mould (as the vacuum packaging protects them from external agents that could damage them).
What are you waiting for? Buy the best marijuana seeds online at SensorySeeds.com now, and once you have one, you can’t wait to collect them all!