Article by Jon Hiltz, Marijuana.com
At long last, domestic Italian cannabis is here for the medical community; which is, as they say, fantastico!
Colonel Antonio Medica completed the first portion of a very special mission: growing medical marijuana for the country. Army officials announced that the first shipment of 1,600 5-gram jars is ready for shipment to Italian hospitals and pharmacies in need. Italy passed medical marijuana laws in 2007, but the country has been importing cannabis from the Netherlands at a price deemed too high for Italy’s patients, so the government finally stepped in.
The 1,600 Italian-made cannabis shipments are lined up on a table at a pharmaceutical plant in Florence — little medical soldiers awaiting further instructions. Final directives are expected to come in the next few days once the Ministry of Health gives their final sign-off.
Each crop takes the soldiers about 90 days to grow from seed to packaged product, providing up to four harvests for a total of 70.54 lbs/year.
The next step for Italian medical marijuana is for the cultivators to create different strains of the plant to treat a wider variety of medical conditions. The Ministry of Health is hoping to yield 100 kilograms (220 pounds) per year eventually. That is what the government body has deemed is a suitable amount to quell public demand, but patients have said that it won’t be enough.