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Italy, as usual, Hemp light THC residue alarm

Light hemp, caution when selling products: DM expected on THC residues in foods. Pharmacies are invited to exercise “particular caution” when evaluating the opportunity to offer some light hemp-based products for sale.

Hemp, currently available in some commercial establishments, as the relevant legislation lacks a ministerial decree, which has not yet been issued on the levels of THC residues in foods.

In the meantime, sampling of these products by the NAS is underway. A Federfarma circular that responds to requests for clarification received on the matter warns pharmacists about the opportunity to initiate this type of commercial choice.

The union recalls the current regulations, in particular the law of 2 December 2016, n. 242: “Provisions for the promotion of the cultivation and agro-industrial supply chain of hemp” which allows cultivation without prior authorization. It can be used for the production of foods and cosmetics, but does not apply to hemp varieties subject to the Consolidated Drug Law referred to in Presidential Decree 309/90. In particular, in 242 two articles are of “particular importance”.

Article 4 sets maximum THC limits. Crops exceeding 0.6% of active ingredient may lead to the seizure or destruction of the crops themselves and art. 5 which refers the definition of the maximum levels of THC residues allowed in foods to a decree of the Ministry of Health, to be issued within six months. However, the ministerial decree has not yet been issued, leaving, in fact, “margins of uncertainty for a complete framework” of the issue. In the meantime, however, the Nas are carrying out sampling of the products in question. These circumstances, suggests Federfarma, “cannot fail to induce particular caution in evaluating the opportunity of offering the products in question for sale in pharmacies”.

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