Italian Army’s Mission: Produce More Cannabis

Italian Army’s Mission: Produce More Cannabis
High Times

Italy is turning to its military to help make its legal medical marijuana program self-sufficient.  DefenseNews reports that the Italian army intends to produce “700 kilograms (1,543 pounds) of top-grade cannabis to cover nearly half of the 1,500 kilograms (3,307 pounds) required annually in the country for those in need of pain relief, such as people with cancer or Parkinson’s disease.”  “The next step is self-sufficiency — that’s our ambition,” Nicola Latorre, who leads the Italian agency overseeing the operation, told DefenseNews. According to the outlet, Italy imports cannabis that is not grown by the army from Holland, Canada, Denmark and Germany, but that the military is “ramping up at an anonymous-looking Army facility on the edge of Florence.” DefenseNews explains that the facility near Florence was opened in 2014 and it “managed 50 kilograms in 2020 before rising to 300 kilograms in 2022.”  In order to meet its goal of roughly 1,500 pounds in 2023, “technicians are perfecting lighting, watering, temperature and ventilation, and they are using a blend of secret nutrients developed in-house that are mixed in with the hydroponic irrigation.”  The Italian army’s role in medical cannabis production is nothing new.  The country announced back in 2014 that “the army would help increase the production of medical marijuana, with the first secure growing facility unveiled in Florence” in April of 2015, according to The Independent.  The Independent reported in 2016 that the country’s army began “growing large crops of cannabis in order to force the price of the drug down to about €8 per gram.”  “It is hoped the sterile chamber [in Florence] will produce up to 100kg of cannabis every year, strictly for use by cancer patients, multiple sclerosis sufferers and those with other medical conditions which could be alleviated by the drug,” The Independent reported…

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