Cannabis flowers packed in jars have been selling fast in some Italian specialty shops for the past few months. Locals would refer to such phenomenon as the “green gold rush.” These jars of hemp flowers were sold under the name “cannabis light” because they contain an extremely small amount of the psychoactive compound responsible for making people high.
Not to be Eaten or Smoked
Sure, these aromatic flowers are in high demand in Italy but there’s a catch – they cannot be eaten or smoked. If there are any seeds, they should be cultivated. The jars are strictly labeled, “for technical use only.” Therefore, they’re not to be consumed. Sales clerks, in fact, refer to them as “collector’s items”, with a wink and a smile.
This situation clearly describes the perplexing status of cannabis in the country. The hemp flower frenzy started after a law in December 2016 took full effect, which regulated the production of hemp. It aimed to revive the cannabis crop that used to be widely cultivated in the country several decades ago. During the 1940s, Italy was one of the second largest producers of industrial cannabis all over the world, next to the Soviet Union.
Law Created for Farmers
The law was aimed at farmers who were cultivating industrial hemp for its commercial uses in the field of clothing, food, medicine, construction materials, and many more. Although it’s derived from cannabis, hemp contains a very small amount of the psychoactive compound. The law, however, didn’t regulate the use of the buds or the cannabis flowers. As a result of this legislative void, an entirely new economy emerged.
In the previous year, there were already companies who were packaging cannabis light. Dozens of shops opened up selling different kinds of cannabis products. Franchising brands have also taken off and a lot of the local farmers have rotated their fields to cultivate one of the many varieties of the European Union certified hemp.
Solution to Agricultural Slump
The association of hemp farmers believes that wide-scale hemp production is the best solution to address the slump of Italy’s agricultural sector. They believe that what they have actually created is an awesome phenomenon. As early as February 2016, they have already sold more than 37,000 pounds of hemp flowers.
Over the past century, cannabis was usually associated with drugs, which wiped out generations of tradition in the country. Organizers of hemp-based fairs in the country now want to put an end to such bad reputation of the crop.
People should understand that it’s the THC that makes people high. In fact, the product contains less than 0.2% of the THC, which means that it’s extremely safe for consumption. It has different levels of CBD, which experts say contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties but without the psychoactive effects of the THC.