HHC is cannabinoid that exists in low concentrations in cannabis and now we are going to see its ban also in Italy. As we reported, there were several countries which banned HHC recently, including France, Sweden and Finland. Surprisingly however, Czech Republic decided not to ban HHC, but regulate it.
However, in Italy it is difficult to regulate HHC because it is primarily produced in laboratories due to the costly plant extraction method. However, it has recently become very popular, raising concerns about its legality and its effects on public health.
HHC and its ambiguous status in Italy
According to the subatance’s potential for abuse and addiction, drugs occur in the Italian directive (DPR 390/90) in one of five relevant tables. HHC raises concerns due to its similarities in chemical structure and effects to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, HHC does not specifically occur in Table I of narcotic substances. However, drugs that have effects comparable to those of THC may eventually occur, under Article 14 of DPR 390/90.
In an technical report the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in Lisbon provided significant technical information. They compared HHC and its effects to those of delta-9-THC and described its prevalence on the European market. Notably, HHC has emerged in the United States as a legitimate substitute for cannabis and delta-9-THC. It raised questions about its illegal use potential and its effects on public health.
Public safety at risk: seizures and proliferation of HHC
During 2022, law enforcement agencies in Italy executed multiple HHC seizures in several locations, including Bolzano, Puglia, Piemonte, and Lombardia. Authorities have been informed of the possible HHC commercialization in Italy and Europe by the Italian Hemp Entrepreneurs Association (ICI). The association highlights that HHC is synthesised and sold in high-concentration in many products.
However, HHC is naturally present in hemp seeds and flowers in very small amounts. Concerns covered also HHC’s inclusion in Table I of DPR 390/90 due to its current legal status, potential toxicity, and structural resemblance to THC.
A decisive move: HHC ban in Italy
The Italian Minister of Health updated Table I of DPR 390/90 to include HHC and its derivatives in light of the substantial risks posed by the spread of HHC on the global market. The prohibition is going to be a protection for the general public’s health. It also demonstrates the government’s resolve to address the problems brought on by novel synthetic cannabinoids.
Government must inform public about the legal consequences and potential risks involved with the use of HHC when the prohibition goes into effect. All in order to protect the well-being and health of the general public.
In summary, the decision of Italy to ban HHC is a critical step. It may stop the importation of potentially dangerous chemicals into the country. The action highlights the necessity of ongoing caution and strict control in light of synthetic drug use’s rapid evolution. Italy sends a strong message about its commitment to maintaining drug laws and safeguarding the public’s health by taking this bold measure.