Italy is an example of what happens when your medical marijuana legislation is watered-down or half-baked in execution. The marijuana that is meant to reach patients who depend on it isn’t easy to obtain and the market prices for it grow to outlandish proportions. The Italian military is trying to restore order to the medical marijuana crop, by growing its own.
Italy is funding its own medical marijuana greenhouse outside of Florence, and it looks like this plan could be a hit. Earlier this month, Corriere della Sera News revealed pictures of this new military greenhouse, showing the scale of their operation, all guarded by military personnel, quite the site for anyone living in America. This plant operation also includes its own drying and packing in-house to produce approximately 220 pounds of cannabis product every year.
The Colonel leading this operation, Antonia Medica, hopes to bring costs down significantly from where they currently stand. The price for pot can vary widely on what type of connections you have and where you’re getting it from, since there is no government licensing given to local producers. It can cost up to forty Euros per gram of marijuana if you’re buying it from places like Germany and Amsterdam.
Not to mention, that having to buy marijuana from the black market off the street, you’re putting yourself and your health in the hands of drug dealers, which for the most part are not dangerous, but you have no way in knowing if they are involved in other more nefarious operations that could get them shutdown at any time, leaving you without your medicine. A terrible situation for those who depend on pot to cure debilitating illnesses and pain that can’t be treated by any other medicine.
Projections of this new operation’s goals are being set to effect the street price of marijuana by about a 60-70% markdown, and hopeful estimates bringing that price down all the way to a mere five Euros per gram. The government is aware, though, that this will never eliminate the illegal sale of marijuana on the black market. Only changes that would allow local growers to provide marijuana safely and legally can realistically eliminate the illegal trade.
Photo Courtesy of Corriere TV