Roberta Pinotti, defence minister, and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin have given their backing to the plans to see the army produce drugs using cannabis, La Stampa said.
If approved the medical marijuana will be cultivated at a chemical plant run by the army, originally used to produce medicines for the military. The plans could see cannabis drugs available in Italian pharmacies as early as next year, the newspaper said.
But although the defence and health ministries have been drawing up protocols to govern the new venture, the plans will not be made official until the end of September.
“From the pharmaceutical point of view, there are no problems with the therapeutic use of cannabis. No one puts the beneficial effects into doubt, but [only if] treated like a medicine,” Lorenzin was quoted as saying.
The plans are for a strictly-controlled production line and will not involve the broader legalization of cannabis for non-medical use.