[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]N[/dropcap]ot only is medical cannabis legal in Sicily which one of the largest island regions governed by Italy, but now medical cannabis prescriptions will now officially be covered by the government there as well.
According to The Local, in Italy, the cost of prescriptions for cannabis patients who are suffering from chronic pain, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis will no longer be an out-of-pocket expense. If they can qualify for medical cannabis and get a prescription for their ailment, then it is covered and there is no co-payment.
Medical cannabis is not only legal in Sicily, but in all of Italy. It became medically legal in 2013, but as in most other countries, patients must pay for their medicine. Sicily is unique in their government-funded medical cannabis program.
In order to qualify for the complementary cannabis prescriptions, patients must go through a legal doctor and pharmacy that has permission to buy from the army or import from growers outside Italy. Despite this forward-thinking move, cannabis still cannot be legally grown within country borders, and it all has to be imported or government-controlled.
Outside of the medical realm, cannabis is not quite decriminalized, but close. Possession is punishable by a fine and license or passport suspension, but offenders won’t do jail time just for having cannabis. Officials almost legalized mild, low-THC cannabis last year, but the new law was thrown out of the Senate before it could become law.
In its entirety, Italy has sold an estimated €3.42 million ($3.79 million USD) in cannabis revenue during 2019. Sicily has had a strong medical cannabis program for some time now and there is so much medical demand in Italy that producers can barely keep up. It’s safe to say free, medical cannabis will be very popular for patients in Sicily.