On Second Thought: Italy Suspends the Decree that Classified CBD Narcotic

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza suspended the decree that classified CBD as a narcotic drug, reported La Stampa on the 29th of October.

CBD has recently officially become a narcotic substance in Italy: this was established by a decree of the Ministry of Health which, in the table of «medicines based on narcotic active substances» included the « compositions for oral administration of cannabidiol obtained from cannabis extracts».

With this suspension, Speranza took a step back on the regulation that could have destroyed the market of light cannabis products, the paper reports.

The decree was also in open conflict with the guidelines of the World Health Organization, which in 2018 removed CBD from drugs with narcotic and psychotropic action.

Now the Ministry of Health has canceled the decree that from October 30th could have given a kiss of death to the Italian market for low THC content hemp flowers.

On October 28th, the Ministry of Health signed a new decree that suspends the effectiveness of the previous one, aiming to convene a working table to address the matter “systematically and comprehensively”. It invited the Higher Institute of Health and the Higher Council of Health to express themselves, with an overall re-evaluation, on the updating of the drug tables and to evaluate “whether the effects of the active substance cannabidiol remain unchanged regardless of the percentage of use of the same”.

A market that has not slowed down in Italy even with the lockdown. In the months of forced closure, online orders for the dubbed “weed that don’t get high” nearly tripled, La Stampa reported.

Reviewed by Sasha Bajilo, founder of ILESOL Pharmaceuticals, an industrial scale producer of CBD products and formulations. Expert on Hemp/Cannabis policy, member of the Croatian Ministry of Health regulatory commission for medical cannabis.