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Growing Hemp, what does the Law say in Italy?

Geschrieben von Enecta Editorial Staff am 29.10.2018

Growing Hemp, what does the Law say in Italy?


Italy has returned to cultivating hemp; for some years now we’ve assisted the come-back of interest in a sector in which Italy has been a leader: just think about the fact that in the first years of 1900 there were around 100 thousand hectares of hemp cultivations.

Regarding to industrial hemp the most recent data indicate, according to Confagricoltura  how  it developed from 3000 hectares of cultivations in the biennium 2013-2014 to 5000 today.

Do you intend to cultivate Hemp?

Many write us, asking what should be done to start up a hemp cultivation. 

Important to know is that there is a law in Italy, n. 242 of December 2, 2016 containing the provisions for the promotion of the cultivation and the agricultural industry of hemp, which was meant to give the first answer, permitting… “the free cultivation of the varieties indicated in the Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species of which cultivation/marketing is allowed in the territories of the European Union”.

We are talking about varieties with THC values below 0.2% and which are not amongst those covered by the dispositions on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, subject matter covered in Italy by the Decree DPR October 9, 1990, n. 309.

What to do before starting a cultivation? 

Before starting your cultivation project it is extremely important to have very clear in mind which your final objective is, cultivating hemp, for example, with the objective to realize the so-called ‘extraction hemp’ requires varieties and techniques which are different with respect to processing hemp for textile and food purposes. 

Before starting, the best thing to do is to contact associations present in the territory or consult professionals or companies with experience in the hemp sector. It’s fundamental to have all information necessary in order to programme your cultivation project.

Which authorisations are needed? 

Authorisations do not exist, rather, the objective of the Law is to “sustain and promote the cultivation and the commodity chain for hemp, as a culture capable of contributing to the reduced impact of agriculture on the environment, to the reduction of soil consumption, desertification and the loss of  biodiversity, and also as a rotation crop”.

The obligation for the grower is to retain the seed tags for at least twelve month, along with the purchasing invoices of the seeds.

Which are the objectives of the Law?

The planting of Hemp with cultivation and transformation purposes, encouragement of the use and final consumption of semi-finished hemp products coming as a priority from local commodity chains, development of integrated territorial commodity chains, which enhance research results and pursue local integration and the effective economic and environmental sustainability.

Provisions for the promotion of cultivation and agro-industrial commodity chain of hemp of the Cannabis Sativa variety.

In the circular the rules of cultivation in the field of flower-growing of hemp are clarified, and the production sectors in which it is allowed to be used are identified, going from food to handicrafts up to industrial research sectors. The law of December 2, 2016 entered into force on January 14, 2017.

The cultivation of the plants is permitted only from certified seeds, asexual reproduction of production material is not allowed with the purpose of being sold.

The grower must retain the tag of the certified seeds and the related documentation of purchasing for a period of at least twelve months.  

Sales of the plants for ornamental use is permitted without authorisation, importation with commercial purposes of plants coming from other countries are not covered by the application of the law and should respect the regulations in force of the European Union regarding the matter.


The ministerial circular specifies with regards to inflorescences, that they remain within the context of flower-growing cultivations, provided they are registered in the Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species, of which the THC contents do not exceed the limits allowed by the regulation.

Hemp cultivation and transformation

The law 242 regards also employment incentives and final consumption of the semi-finished products coming from local commodity chains, as well as the development of integrated territorial commodity chains which enhance research results and pursue local integration and the effective economic and environmental sustainability; production of biodegradable and semi-finished foods, cosmetics, raw materials, renewed for the industries of various sectors; the realisation of bioengineering works, soil decontamination, educational and research activities.


Green Valley and Hemp Cultivations

The new regulation  has given impetus to a business approach going ever more in the direction of the valorisation of the commodity chain, which has brought Enecta, in 2017, to develop together with the agricultural company GreenValley and other local realities, a project for the cultivation of industrial hemp on grounds covering the Abruzzo and Emilia-Romagna territories.

This approach gives Enecta the possibility to monitor the product from seed to final transformation.

In particular, in Abruzzo, in Castelvecchio Subequo, new agronomical techniques for the cultivation of cannabis are being studied, also thanks to the research the Abruzzo company is conducting in collaboration with Crea-Ci, Research Centre of cereal cultivation and industrial cultivations, department of the Council of research in agriculture and analysis of agricultural economics, reporting to the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and Tourism.