Costa: “Soon calls for the cultivation of medical cannabis for medical use”

The Undersecretary for Health announces: “We are launching tenders that give the possibility to cultivate it also for private and public companies, in order to be able to achieve the goal of being self-sufficient in production”. Federfarma: in pharmacies throughout Italy “there is a strong shortage”. Coldiretti estimates up to 10 thousand jobs

“In the coming weeks the calls for the cultivation of medical cannabis for medical use by public and private companies will be ready”. The announcement came from Undersecretary of Health Andrea Costa. “We are launching tenders that give the possibility to cultivate cannabis for medical use also to private and public companies to be able to achieve the goal of being self-sufficient in production. This is a topic that we are addressing together with the Ministry of ‘Agriculture and the Ministry of the Interior, we are well advanced along the way “, explained during the broadcast” Mi manda Rai3 “.

Costa: calls for tenders to start the production of medical cannabis in Italy

The undersecretary added: “I am confident that in the coming weeks these calls can be launched that will start production in our country”. As regards the preparation of the calls, he stressed that “we are already well advanced”. “I believe that when the state approves a law that guarantees rights, it must work to ensure that these rights are guaranteed,” said Costa. He also added that “it is estimated that the need in 2021” of medical cannabis “is 1,400 kg, but the Military Pharmaceutical Institute of Florence is capable of producing perhaps 300 kg” and the quantity that is missing Costa then underlined: “We would make a mistake if we confused the legalization of cannabis with cannabis for medical use, I want to say this with extreme clarity and firmness.” “Liberalization is another issue that risks fueling the debate and radicalize it, to create contrasts that I do not think are useful to those patients who are waiting for treatment ”, he concluded.

Federfarma: “severe shortage of medical cannabis” in pharmacies

After Costa’s words, Roberto Tobia, Federfarma’s national secretary, intervened. In pharmacies throughout Italy, “there is a strong shortage of medical cannabis for the preparation of cannabis-based magisterial drugs: the supply is not sufficient and pharmacies have great difficulty with respect to the exponentially increasing demand for these drugs by sick people. We are unable to meet the demands, “he told Ansa.” The shortage is chronic. Furthermore, despite the reimbursement by the NHS, in various regions the preparations are not reimbursed and the cost for patients can reach over 500 euros per month “, he added.

Coldiretti: from tenders up to 10 thousand jobs

According to Coldiretti estimates, in Italy the cultivation, transformation and trade of cannabis for therapeutic purposes to meet the needs of patients could guarantee up to 10 thousand jobs, from fields to bottles. “In Italy, the demand for cannabis-based therapeutic products is constantly growing but it is satisfied above all by imports since at the moment the only production allowed is that in the Military Pharmaceutical Chemical Plant of Florence, the only one authorized for cultivation”, explained Coldiretti . “Only by using the spaces already available in the greenhouses abandoned or disused due to the crisis in horticulture, the Italian countryside can immediately make available one thousand hectares of protected cultivation land. These are indoor environments where they can more easily be carried out the control procedures by the authorities in charge to avoid the risk of abuse. An opportunity that must be carefully evaluated to get out of dependence from abroad and start a 100% Italian supply chain project that unites agriculture with the pharmaceutical industry ” , he added. A “first experiment that – concluded Coldiretti – could open up enormous potential if one were to decide to extend the production in the open field in suitable land: in the 40s with 100 thousand hectares cultivated, Italy was the second world producer of cannabis sativa, which from a botanical point of view is similar to the indica variety used for therapeutic purposes “.