Medicinal cannabis will now be available free of charge in the southern Italian region of Sicily, according to a decree signed on Tuesday by Sicilian health chief Ruggero Razza.
The cost of medicinal cannabis for anyone suffering from chronic pain, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis will be covered by Sicily’s regional government, according to local media.
Italy legalised medicinal cannabis in 2013 and it now has one of the largest markets in Europe.
However, it is highly regulated and it can be expensive, as domestic production is limited and imports often prove to be costly.
You must have a doctor’s prescription and obtain the cannabis from a licensed pharmacy, which has permission either to buy it from a tightly-controlled supply grown by the Italian army or import it from regulated growers outside Italy.
Growing or selling cannabis for recreational use remains illegal and can land you in prison.
Possession is not a crime, but it remains punishable by a fine and the suspension of your driving licence and/or passport.
Catania-based cannabis activist group BisTer thanked Razza for signing the decree, but said it is just the first step and promised to continue fighting to improve Sicilians’ access to cannabis.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, with a population of more than 5 million.
It has permitted five private companies to produce cannabis on the island, with sites in Agrigento, Catania, Palermo, Ragusa and Syracuse.
Originally published here: https://ilglobo.com.au/news/46651/sicily-makes-medicinal-cannabis-free-for-certain-patients/#