Cannabis as an ingredient in food or supplements (Italy)

At national level, the subject of the legislation on cannabis draws its sources from two primary sources: Italian Presi-dential Decree No. 309/1990 (also known as Single Text on Narcotics) and Italian Law No. 242/2016. With regard to the cannabinoid THC, the aforementioned 2016 Law requested the Ministry of Health to establish the maximum permissible limit of THC in food. The Ministry subsequently issued a Decree on 4 November 2019, which qualified hemp seeds (including crushed, ground, and ground seeds) and their derivatives (oil, flour and supplements) as food, setting specific limits. On the other hand, a Decree issued on 7 August 2023 by the Ministry of Health included in-gestible products based on CBD, the cannabidiol obtained from cannabis extracts, in the Single Text on Narcotics, thereby preventing their sale. This last Decree has been provisionally suspended by the Administrative Court of Lazio, and further developments on the issue are expected.

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 30 May 2024. We recommend you contact a specialised food lawyer for legal advice for your particular circumstances to support commercial decisions which could impact your product or business.

Giorgio Rusconi