weed in rome

Can Rome become a new Amsterdam?

Where to get weed in Rome

With the arrival of Spring, taking a walk in the city is one of the most delightful and satisfying activities. If you’ve been strolling around the Eternal City, you may have noticed that a new type of store has started to appear on the streets… Fun names, green font, trendy design, and this very recognisable shape of a cannabis leaf: light marijuana is now legal in Italy. Monti, Trastevere, Centro Storico, every trendy and touristic area has seen these kinds of shops grow like mushrooms in the past weeks. But before you cancel your flight to Amsterdam, let’s take a look at the situation.


Don’t imagine to be able to smoke your blunt in the middle of the street without getting into any trouble with the police: cannabis is still illegal in Italy. If you are used to smoking for medical reasons, therapeutic weed is allowed since a few years, even the Italian army has started to grow it in 2016 near Florence! And from the beginning of 2018, light cannabis has become legal.

What is light cannabis?

Light cannabis, ma cos’è ? In fact it’s very simple. In this very famous plant, the female trees give the fruits and the leafs used for a joint, and it contains two main substances: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CNB (cannabinol). THC is the product that makes you feel high, the psychotropic one. CNB is the other side of the medal that gives you that relaxing feeling, anti-inflammatory actions and other “good” properties.

Cannabis is considered light when the THC content is less than 0.5% and the main effects are given by the CNB. And this is the legal one. In the weed shops in Rome, the gross weed is sold as “collection goods” legal to sell and legal to smoke…inside your place. You can also find many derivative products for cooking, cosmetics, decorations, and even some manufactured goods like backpacks and tote bags made of hemp!

So the answer to the question: “can Rome become the new Amsterdam?” is: no.

Why is smoking light marijuana legal in Italy?

This new market of “collection cannabis” is really unstable because it’s built on a loophole in the legislation. The hemp production in Italy was really important before the 1980’s and with new ecological techniques, hemp is coming back front and center stage in engineering and medicine. This reconstruction of the industrial and agricultural field opened the door to the legal light cannabis. Because of the entanglement of laws between hemp, therapeutical, light and “normal” cannabis, the market of collection cannabis is confusing, but may change and disappear really fast.

Where to buy weed in Rome: legal weed shops

L’Oracolo di Bob

What sets this legal weed shop from the rest is its 24/7 self-service machine offering 13 different types of legal weed, 1 type of legal hash, and more. In addition to the legal weed options, there is also the possibility for customers to purchase CBD Oil; both in the distributor machine and in the shop.

Light Cannabis is now legal in Italy, cannabis is considered light when the THC content is less than 0.5%. Here's where to buy weed in Rome.

Cannabis light: the confusing illusion of legal marijuana in Rome

Oh, the classic sights of Rome: ancient Roman ruins, cobblestone streets, picture-perfect restaurants, quaint leather shops, and… weed dispensaries.

Tourists in the Eternal City may be taken aback by a recent addition to the ancient cityscape: legal marijuana shops. They’re hard to miss, with storefronts plastered with bright green marijuana-leaf decals and the occasional flashing “LEGAL” sign.

Despite appearances, Rome is no Amsterdam. In 2016, Law 242 was passed in Italy, legalising the sale of cannabis products with a low level of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Thus, so-called “cannabis light” was born, and cannabis light dispensaries took Rome by storm.

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What is cannabis light?

“Cannabis light” is a strain of cannabis that has a very low level of THC. AP News aptly describes cannabis light as the “decaf coffee” of marijuana. Though it is marketed as a marijuana-style product, it is more closely related to hemp. The common differentiation between hemp and marijuana is found in the THC level, as they are both similar looking (and smelling) subspecies of the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp usually has around a 0.3% THC level, whereas marijuana THC levels range from 4% to 20%.

The common THC level of cannabis light is 0.2% to 0.6%.

In Italy, cannabis light is sold in a dried form that looks identical to marijuana– so much so that it must be labelled as a collector’s item to evade laws regarding the sale of marijuana, and every package comes with a “not suitable for smoking” sticker.

There are many “strains” of cannabis light, with various names, colors, and characteristics. In many ways, the culture surrounding cannabis light mimics that of typical marijuana counter-culture, with one key difference: cannabis light probably won’t make you high.

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Why is cannabis light legal?

In 2016, Law 242 was passed to ease growing restrictions on industrial hemp farmers and encourage agricultural sustainability. Hemp cultivation is good for the environment for a variety of reasons: it grows quickly, requires little water, absorbs toxins and replenishes soil, and captures carbon dioxide more effectively than trees.

Hemp is a versatile plant that can be used to make food products, beauty products, clothing, paper, building supplies, and more. With the passing of Law 242, Italian lawmakers were setting the scene for a more environmentally-friendly agricultural landscape.

Here’s where cannabis light comes into play: because hemp naturally contains trace amounts of THC, a very low-level of THC was declared acceptable by law. Law 242 declared that hemp was legal for production and sale, and farmers would not be penalised for growing hemp with a THC level up to 0.6%. The comical side effect of legalised hemp production was the cannabis light industry, an industry with all of the talk and none of the walk of illegal cannabis.

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Nonetheless, cannabis light took Rome, and all of Italy, by storm. Hundreds of companies have been created since 2016, selling cannabis light and cannabis flavored and themed items, such as energy drinks, T-shirts, candles, and pipes. Some Italians quit their jobs or ended their businesses to open cannabis light dispensaries. The cannabis light industry has generated an estimated 40 million euro in revenue. Labeled “weak” at best and “useless” at worst by customers, cannabis light and cannabis light dispensaries still managed to spark political backlash.

In 2019, cannabis light was put on trial at the urgency of conservative politicians who had a moral objection to the cannabis light industry. Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League political party, said, “It is neither possible nor acceptable that in Italy there are 1,000 shops where there are drugs legally, in broad daylight.”

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The Supreme Court ruled that cannabis light and other cannabis sativa derivatives in the form of flowers, buds, leaves, and oils, could not be sold unless they did not produce a narcotic effect and were clearly not meant for human consumption–a confusing ruling considering the nature of cannabis light. For now, the issue seems to be on hold, and cannabis light dispensaries can still be found all over central Rome and all of Italy.

Is Italy on track to legalise marijuana?

In late 2019, Italian courts ruled that cannabis could be grown domestically, but only in small amounts. As of 2020, marijuana is decriminalised for possession and legal for medical use, but it is still illegal to sell and grow on a large scale.

Despite the buzz surrounding cannabis light, it is unlikely that marijuana will be legalised in Italy in the near future due to pressure from conservative political parties, such as the League and Forza Italia.

Where are cannabis light dispensaries located?

Cannabis light dispensaries can be found all over central Rome, and all of Italy. Many are stationary shops, while others come in the form of discreet vending machines.

Legal low THC marijuana has stormed Rome and can be found in many stores across the city. What is it, why is it legal and where can it be found. ]]>