After the government authorized the cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic use in September, many expectations had spread in Italy about the ready availability of cannabis in pharmacies. Even many farmers had asked to be able to plant it on their land. Patients in celebration. In short, at the news alone, very broad expectations were created.
Now the entire project is in danger of being wrecked even before planting the first seed in the soil. According to the government’s forecasts, the Military Pharmaceutical Institute of Florence must be instructed on the cultivation of cannabis by Cra Cin of Rovigo, an agricultural research and experimentation body that is part of the CNR. This body in recent years has been the only one able to legally cultivate cannabis plants for scientific purposes and is therefore the only person who has the set of skills and knowledge to start a project of this type. Now this facility, which employs a researcher and two PhD students, could be dismantled as a result of the government’s spending review.
It would be a disaster as the knowledge of this research center, accumulated over 12 years of work, would be precious, indeed necessary, for any attempt to produce therapeutic cannabis. But there is also another reason: in Italy there are hundreds of farms in crisis, owners of a large number of greenhouses, in the past used for the production of flowers, which are now no longer operational. Many growers see medical cannabis production as the last opportunity to relaunch: for example, the flower market which has suffered fierce competition from Latin America and North Africa.
The paradoxical situation of this story is that the entire structure costs much less than it produces net of the salaries of the employees. We will see the developments of this story in the coming months and we will follow them from our blog.
The road to creating an Italian supply chain project that unites the pharmaceutical industry and agriculture is still uphill.