By LeeWEpstein

January 21, 2020

A decree published in the Official Gazette of the Italian Government establishes the THC limits in food products and opens the possibility of incorporating hemp in food, whereas the sector had already developed without waiting for a regulatory framework.

The announcement was made by Coldiretti. The largest association representing Italian agriculture: The expected publication clarifies a sector that in recent years has experienced a real boom,” notes Coldiretti. “A type of cultivation that is spreading all over Italy, a real return [to tradition] if we consider that until the 1940s there were almost 100,000 hectares dedicated to it.

Hemp sector

The hemp sector, partly with the development of light cannabis in Italy, has seen a strong acceleration in recent years. Cultivated areas have increased from 400 hectares in 2013 to almost 4,000 hectares in 2018.

The law will thus be the first step in giving answers to “hundreds of farms that have invested in the cultivation of this type of plant. Said Coldiretti.

The Ministry of Health decree establishes, among other things for instance: the maximum THC limit for hemp seeds, flour obtained from seeds and supplements containing derived foodstuffs is 2 milligrams per kilo. While for the oil obtained from seeds the limit is 5 milligrams per kilo. However , these restrictions do not mention a CBD limit or reference to the European Novel Food.

However, regulatory frameworks for other derivatives remain vague, despite growing interest from sectors such as cosmetics.

After the deletion of the amendment on light cannabis by the Italian Senate. Italian entrepreneurs insist on demanding a clear framework, in line with constitutional principles. Indeed, Italian law only regulates the cultivation of hemp, with a wide tolerance threshold between 0.2 and 0.6% THC in the field. Which gives no indication on the finished product. And therefore leaves Italian entrepreneurs free to act, but they’re also susceptible to prosecution.

Presently, the hemp and CBD sector in Italy has around 1 000 shops for 10 000 employees along the entire production chain.

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