Italian Court Rules Hemp Flowers, Leaves are Not Narcotics

Italian Court Rules Hemp Flowers, Leaves are Not Narcotics
High Times

A ruling by an Italian court earlier this month represents a huge break for the country’s hemp and CBD industry.  The decision made by the Lazio Regional Administrative Court on February 14 overturned what the panel deemed an “‘absurdly restrictive’ decree [that] meant hemp leaves and flowers were considered narcotics in the eyes of regulators.” The upshot is that the decision “means that Italy’s national law now no longer contravenes the 2020 Kanavape ruling of the European Union’s Court of Justice (ECJ).” In that ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union “ruled that CBD is not a narcotic and that a member state cannot restrict the free movement of CBD products, and that CBD can be derived from the hemp flower.” The decision by the Lazio administrative court earlier this month also means that Italy’s CBD and hemp industry, which led this court challenge, are now empowered to operate more freely, and without fear of regulatory meddling.  BusinessCann has more background on the lawsuit that led to the February 14 ruling by the Lazio court: “In May 2022, four grassroots cannabis industry associations – Canapa Sativa Italia, Sardinia Cannabis, Resilienza Italia Onlus and Federcanapa – filed an appeal against a Ministerial Decree issued in January 2022. The decree in question amended an earlier decree from 2018 regarding the cultivation, harvesting and processing of medicinal plants. Effectively, the 2022 amendment sought to place the cultivation, processing and marketing of ‘non-narcotic’ hemp flowers and leaves back under the umbrella of narcotics, meaning operators would be required to seek authorisation from the Ministry of Health, or face penalties.” Recreational cannabis remains illegal in Italy, although it is decriminalized.  An effort in Italy last year to legalize recreational pot was stymied on legal grounds, when the country’s Constitutional Court “rejected a request…

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Source : Italian Court Rules Hemp Flowers, Leaves are Not Narcotics

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