Italy aiming for self-sufficient cannabis production

Home » Italy aiming for self-sufficient cannabis production

According to reports, Italy is aiming to produce 700 kg of medicinal cannabis – enough to cover half of the amount needed for patients in the country annually. 

The majority of medical cannabis in Italy is produced by Italy’s Office of Stabilimento Chimico Farmaceutico Militare (SCFM – The Military Pharmaceutical Chemical Plant) based in Florence. 

The SCFM’s production of cannabis-based substances and medical cannabis began as a pilot project in 2014 following the finalisation of an agreement between the Minister of Defence, Roberta Pinotti and the Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin. 

Read more: Tilray authorised to import and distribute oral solution in Italy

It began industrial-scale production at the end of 2016 to meet the growing demand for the medicine in the country by health institutions and private pharmacies.

Now, speaking to Defense News, Nicola Latorre, who leads the Italian Defence Industries Agency, which oversees the SCFM’s operations, has stated that Italy’s ambition is to become self-sufficient in cannabis production.

Director of SCFM, Gabriele Picchioni, told Defense News: “What we can do in Florence is produce a highly standardized product so the dosage is unvaried, at the same price as we are now paying for imports.”

Picchioni also told the publication that, now, five private firms will be supplying mother plants for cuttings to be grown in Florence, but that the main operation will not be farmed out to the private sector in order “to guarantee quality and price.”

To add to this ambition, Latorre also confirmed that the SCFM lab is aiming to produce cannabis-infused olive oil for patients in 2023.

The announcement follows on the heels of Germany’s recently laid out plans for legalisation of adult-use cannabis, which also include ambitions to see the country relying on domestic production for its supply.

However, this ambition has been criticised by experts as Germany currently has around 4 million cannabis consumers, meaning it may be difficult to keep up with demand if relying on domestic production.

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