Italy’s Health Ministry has published its guide to medical cannabis targeted at physicians who can prescribe it and pharmacists who can sell it, according to West, a newspaper in Brussels, Belgium. The guidelines outline administration, warnings, precise dosing, possible drug interactions and side effects.
Under Italy’s program, medical cannabis is approved for patients suffering from severe conditions including chronic pain; spasms associated with pain, such as those suffering from spinal cord lesions or multiple sclerosis; patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and HIV therapies; drug-resistant glaucoma; and Tourette’s syndrome. Additionally, medical cannabis use is permitted in cases that require appetite stimulation, such as cachexia and anorexia. The guidelines allow for medical cannabis use when all other conventional treatments fail.
Nearly two years ago it was reported by the BBC that the Italian army was growing medicinal cannabis in a pharmaceutical plant in Florence hoping to help meet the national demand. Colonel Antonio Medica, who is in charge of the Florence base where the grow is located, said the project could get medical cannabis costs down to 8 euros per gram. According to the guide, the cannabis grown at the base is between 5 and 8 percent THC and 7 to 12 percent CBD.
“My mission is to produce the best-quality cannabis on an industrial scale at a low price,” Medica said in an Independent report.
Italy legalized medical cannabis in 2013; however, the cost has remained prohibitively high at about 38 euros per gram.