Italian Army Growing Medical Marijuana to Lower Price

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Italy’s army has been hard at work – not fighting in the field, but cultivating medical cannabis in it.

The army is operating a grow site in Florence in a bid to lower the price of MMJ from around 35 euros per gram (around $39) to between five and 15 euros per gram, according to the BBC. The army expects to produce about 220 pounds a year at its pharmaceutical plant.

“The aim of this operation is to make available to a growing number of patients a medical product which isn’t always readily available on the market, at a much better price for the user,” a military spokesman told the Italian news site Corriere della Sera.

MMJ is legal in Italy, and while doctors can prescribe it, it’s typically imported from Holland. The high cost at pharmacies keeps it out of range for many patients.

Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti unveiled the army’s project last September, and said the Florence site was chosen for its security and surveillance system.