Italy is losing out on a potential half-billion-euro industry by failing to put in place informed laws and regulations for smokeable cannabis, according to a recent study in Italy and France by the Italian cannabis business website. Industrial Kanapa.
The current market, estimated at €200-300 million, could nearly double, creating thousands of jobs and strengthening the state’s tax coffers, the study notes in an analysis of the smokeable cannabis sub-sector that is part of a broader report on cannabis inflorescences and CBD. .
At the same time, clear rules would help eliminate public health risks that have emerged since the gray market for smokeable “light cannabis” appeared in Italy at the beginning of 2016.
While calling for a formal product framework, the analysis also notes that removing obstacles to research and innovation would help smokeable cannabis thrive.
“Decades of bans have created gray areas and a double-track for legal and illegal cannabis in current legislation,” the authors write, deploring “the indiscriminate police control of companies operating in the legal cannabis market as if they were illegal (and) related to the drug trade,” which they say prevents The growth of the smokeable cannabis market.
Based on the survey of participants in the two countries, study It showed that non-narcotic cannabis products containing hemp are widely distributed online and at points of sale in Italy, especially in specialized stores and tobacco sellers, in the absence of laws and regulations that do not technically prohibit trade in such products.
“There are currently many light cannabis stores in Italy that can count on a market of casual and stable consumers, willing to take on the risks arising from the lack of regulation of cannabis-based inhaled products,” the authors wrote.
Survey results show that consumers primarily buy products containing cannabis flowers for inhalation – as an alternative to tobacco, marijuana and other psychoactive substances.
In general, the average monthly expenditure of non-accidental light cannabis consumers is between 40 and 70 euros. The study notes that this has boosted entrepreneurship in agriculture and other start-ups since 2016.
Moreover, nearly one in four French consumers claims to have used an Italian cannabis product, the study found, with this percentage being higher in the smokeable cannabis segment.
In other highlights, the report:
- It is proposed that the Italian regulatory framework aims to maximize the types of cannabis available and distribution channels for flower-based products while providing quality controls to ensure that there are no contaminants.
- Recommends taxes should be based on the type of product and intended consumption method, taking into account potential harm. Cannabis flowers packaged as herbal tea, for example, should be taxed differently than those for smoking.
- He says vaping should be considered the least harmful form of inhalation and taxed at a lower level than pre-rolled packs of cigarettes.
- He notes that the marked decrease in the use of conventional medicines appears to be related in part to consumers’ belief that cannabis-based products are more effective in treating certain medical conditions. However, for almost all diseases that are treated with cannabis-based products, more scientific evidence of their medicinal efficacy is needed.
- He notes that many of the “more cautious” European countries already have regulations for inhaled products containing cannabis, and the markets are rapidly growing, noting that Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Lithuania have earned significant revenue through tax bases for inhaled products similar to those of alcohol and tobacco.