Headline April 27, 2018/ '''CANNABIS -*ITALY'S*- CANTILEVER '''



FOR THE PAST YEAR, small jars of cannabis flowers have been flying off the shelves of Italian specialty shops, a phenomenon that's described as a 'green gold rush'.

The hemp flower with names like K8, Chill Haus, Cannabismile, White Pablo and Marley CBD     -are sold under the tag ''cannabis light'', because their level of the -

Psychoactive compound that makes people high is a tiny fraction of that typically found in cultivated marijuana.

But there's a catch.

The aromatic hemp flowers must not be smoked or eaten. Seeds, there be any, must not be cultivated. As the jars labels sternly specify, the products are for ''technical use '' only and ''not for human consumption,''

Instead, they are sold - as countless sales clerks will explain with a nudge-nudge, wink-wink smile as ''collectors items.''

Such is the current, perplexing status of one form of legal cannabis in Italy.

Italy's cannabis mania, as it has been called, exploded after a December 2016 law regulating hemp production went into effect, a series of norms meant to help review a crop that was once widely cultivated in the country.

In the 1940s, Italy was said to be the world's second-biggest producer of industrial cannabis, after the Soviet Union. [Statistics for China, also a major producer, do not exist].

The law was created for farmers growing industrial hemp, which has only minute levels of the psychoactive compound  -tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC - but has commercial uses in products like food, fabrics, clothing, biofuel, construction material and animal feed.

The law did not regulate the use of cannabis flowers, also known as buds, and an entire economy emerged from the legislative void.

In the past year, companies packaging cannabis light have burgeoned, dozens of shops selling cannabis products have opened, franchising brands have taken off and many farmers have-

Rotated their fields to produce one of the 64 varieties of industrial hemp certified by the European Union.

Farmers association see wide-scale hemp production as one solution to Italy's agriculture slump.

''We created an awesome phenemenon,'' said Luca Marola, who is widely credited with  kick-starting  the boom in cannabis light, thanks in part to extensive media coverage of his company, the Easyjoint Project.

As of February, he said,  he had sold 17,000 kilograms or over 37,000 pounds, of flowers - an endeavor that Mr. Marola, a longtime activist for marijuana legalization, calls a ''form of civil disobedience.''

In the past century, marijuana and cannabis became associated with  illegal drugs, effectively wiping out generations of tradition, and Gennaro Maulucci, the main organizer of a hemp based trade fair in Rome.

''We want to dismantle that defamatory reputation,'' he said.

''It's new economy. It feels like Silicon Valley,'' he added during the fair, Canapa Mundi, which drew more than 30,000 visitors over three days in February.

And, in this process, he said, ''even cannabis light, compared with the 15 percent to 25 percent or more that is typically found in cultivated strains of marijuana, although street level quality can be significantly lower in Italy.

Cannabis has varying levels cannabidiol, or CBD, which proponents say has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, without the psychoactive effects.

*So to Italy then, with a wink and a nod*.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Operational Research on the *State of the World* continues.

And with many thanks from the World Students Society for researcher and author Elisabetta Povoledo.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Italy and then the world. See Ya all on !WOW! - the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Statutory !WOW! Sciences '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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