Source: Dope Magazine

In fields across Italy, the seeds of fundamental change are being sown—and they quite literally are seeds, hemp seeds.

Individually, a hemp grower has little power, but as part of a local hemp-growing collective, that power increases exponentially. Similarly, a sole collective has little influence, but a network of communities working together can garner power on a much greater and more meaningful level.

Collective power is exactly what members of Canapa Info Point (CIP) are trying to achieve. They are bringing together local, small-scale hemp producers from across the country to create a nationwide decentralized network—one that is proving to possess a significant political voice. Currently, its members are liaising with scientists, economists and politicians to create legislation that could ultimately see the creation of Spanish-style cannabis social clubs and a regulated medical cannabis market. The Italian state has become increasingly open to medical cannabis in recent years—in fact, the military recently completed its first-ever medical cannabis crop!

In addition, CIP provides information to would-be hemp farmers on how to obtain licenses and EU funding. It also runs Saracinesca in Canapa, a one-hectare model field designed to demonstrate hemp agriculture to politicians, farmers and the interested public.1 The field is situated in the small hillside village just outside of Rome. They also have far-reaching plans to set up a bio park and therapeutic village, which upon completion would welcome medical cannabis tourists from around the world.

Italy was once known throughout the contemporary world for its fine-quality hemp products. Modern-day producers are keen to revive that legacy. Hemp industry associations are springing up all over the country—in Puglia, Piedmont, Tuscany and Lazio, to name just a few.

Up in the northern province of Brescia another hemp association has sprung up. AgriCanapa grows four hectares, and works with farmers growing a further 50 hectares throughout Brescia—partly to address issues of soils contaminated with PCBs. The soil surrounding the perimeter of a local chemical manufacturer Caffaro is among the worst in the world, and 5,000 times the residential safe limit decreed by the government.

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