Modified on: 12/09/2023
Cannabis news 2023: what would the budget law 2023/2025 provide?
To the surprise of cannabis advocates, a draft of cannabis legalization appears in the 2023/2025 Budget Law. In fact, the matter is treated strictly from a fiscal point of view, but this obviously involves an entirely different approach than one might expect from a right-wing government.
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So what is expected?
Light cannabis taxation: we got away with it again!
In fact, the proposal suggested a possible tax on cannabis with a THC content below 0.5%. The intention, however, was not to tax CBD cannabis, but to increase the minimum taxation against retailers with a flat-rate VAT number, who currently enjoy a rate of 5% for five years. With this maneuver, instead, the percentage would be raised to 15% beginning from the first year, totally eliminating the facilitation of the first quinquennium.
Furthermore, as a result of this proposal, it was considered that tobacco should also be treated in the same way, with an increase for cigarette packets from January 2023. It is therefore planned: “a fixed specific amount per unit of product, determined, for the year 2023, in 36.00 euro for 1,000 cigarettes, for the year 2024 in 36.50 euro for 1,000 cigarettes and, from the year 2025, in 37.00 euro for 1,000 cigarettes” (Art. 28 paragraph 1a).
Cannabis law: why we can not yet talk about legalization
If in 2019 Italy was in the lead in the 2023 forecast for the cannabis trade throughout the European Union, the strong obstructionism by the right has made Italy take huge steps backwards. As if that were not enough, there is still a need to reconcile the cannabis sector with D.P.R. 309 of 1990, making sure that the two coexist without getting in the way.
With the publication of law 242 of 2016, in Italy began the cultivation of cannabis sativa, but being a very delicate sector that suffers from a huge regulatory vacuum, many cannabis advocates found themselves investing their money with all the doubts of the case.
Meanwhile, high CBD buds have become very popular and are now widely consumed. This has made our country a sort of ‘example’ for our neighbours, encouraging them to copy our work and implement regulations at European level.
But earlier we talked about a regulatory vacuum, right?
In fact, while law 242 of 2016 only authorizes the production of cannabis, trade is regulated by D.P.R. 309 of 1990. This explains why the THC limit imposed on the producer of hashish or cannabis is between 0.2% and 0.6%, while for the retailer it should not exceed 0.5%. As if that were not enough, derivatives are still considered illegal by proxy, while all food use is still prohibited.
From all this it is clear that full legalization of cannabis can never be achieved until changes are made to the D.P.R. 309/90, changes suggested by the United Nations Organization itself, that cannabis should be removed from the list of substances in Table I.
However, the proposal of the Budget Law would give hope.
Budget Law 2023/2025: these are some of the proposed changes
Moreover, in the amendment proposal of the “C. 643-bis Government State budget for the financial year 2023 and multiannual budget for the three-year period 2023-2025 ISSUE AMENDMENTS TABLED” signed by Fratoianni and others of the Mixed Group – Alliance Greens and Left reads:
Consequently, after Article 29, add the following:
(Introduction of the cannabis monopoly)
1. The following amendments are made to Law No. 907 of 17 July 1942:
a) the following is inserted after Title II:
MONOPOLY OF CANNABIS
(Object of the monopoly)
1. The cultivation, processing, introduction, import and sale of cannabis and its derivatives shall be subject to a State monopoly throughout the territory of the Republic.
(Definition of cannabis and its derivatives for tax purposes)
1. For the purposes of this Title, products of the plant classified botanically in the genus cannabis shall be considered derivatives.
(Provision of personal supplies)
1. This is without prejudice to the cultivation for personal use of cannabis up to a maximum of five female plants and to the transfer to third parties of small quantities of its derivatives for immediate consumption.
(Licence to grow cannabis)
1. The Customs and Monopolies Agency shall be entitled to carry out directly all stages of the processing of the cannabis delivered, and to grant within the national territory a license to grow cannabis for the supply of the processing sites indicated by the same Agency. To this end, the Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, by decree to be issued within two months of the date of entry into force of this provision, governs the modalities for granting licenses to grow cannabis, the arrangements for the acquisition of the relevant seed and the procedures for conferring the processing of its derivatives, determining annually the species of the cultivable quality and the quantities thereof, and fixing the delivery price, the level of excise duties, the level of the retail price and the retail price.
(Retail licence for cannabis and cannabis derivatives)
1. The Customs and Monopolies Agency shall be entitled to grant a retail license for cannabis and cannabis derivatives within its territory. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, by its own decree, regulates the allocation of retail licenses, with particular reference to the determination of their territorial distribution.
(Protection of the monopoly)
1. The sowing, cultivation, sale of cannabis and possession of its derivatives in any capacity, with the exception of small quantities intended for immediate consumption, carried out in breach of the monopoly provided for in this Title, shall be prohibited. Infringement of the monopoly shall be punished in accordance with this Act in the event of contraband.
1. The provisions of this Title shall be subject, to the extent that
b) under the title of the law, the words: “and tobacco” are replaced by the following: “tobacco, cannabis and its derivatives”».
In this article we talked about the taxation of CBD weed and, more generally, the budget law 2023/2025, focusing on all relevant changes.
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