Italy is unable to meet the need for medical cannabis thanks to old regulations that do not change due to political will, stated Alessandro Pastorino, CEO of Fl Group. This is a company based in Savona (one of the six in Italy that distribute medical cannabis, with a turnover of over one million euros), owned by Aphria.
"The International narcotic control board estimates that Italy's needs are about 2 tons per year," explains Pastorino. In 2019, only 850 kilos were distributed ”.
The problem is that Italy only imports from the Netherlands; according to the Ministry of Health, only this country is able to supply products that comply with EU regulations. But today, this is no longer the case: the market offers similar and better products. Germany, for example, whose annual requirement is 31 tons per year, gets its supply from the Netherlands, but also other countries and national producers. In Italy, on the other hand, the only production permit is from the chemical-pharmaceutical plant in Florence, which in 2019 produced only 150 kilos (of the 850 distributed in Italy), 50 of which on its own and the rest imported from Germany. "This situation means that, in Italy, many patients find themselves without medical cannabis for months when the Netherlands is no longer able to meet our needs," concluded Pastorino.