Some say 1000, some say 25,000, others say over 50,000. The truth is that hemp has thousands of potential applications, especially considering the recent technological innovations. In 2013 Ian Hodder discovered a hemp artifact dating back to 9,000 years ago, a proof that the uses of hemp have an ancient history. Italy, too, has had a long tradition of hemp cultivation and transformation. In fact, until the 30s, Italy was the largest producer, second only to Russia, and the first for quality. After the halt brought forth by the prohibition to cultivate hemp, Italy resumed production in 1998. The decision followed a disposition of the Ministry of Agriculture, in conformity with EU guidelines allowing the production of varieties whose THC levels do not go beyond the 0,2%. A new law supporting and further regulating the production is forthcoming in 2015.
Together with the company CRA-CIN, IKHEMP has recuperated a historical variety of Italian Hemp, the “Eletta Campana.” We focus on seed derivatives, bio-plastic, bio-polymers, bio-composites and in the pioneering field of flavor-enhancers, a market for which Italy depends completely on foreign markets In addition, in order to facilitate harvesting, we have been studying innovative techniques to check the ripeness of the plan through drones, while we plan other studies on pathology treatment and prevention. A project in this direction has already started, in collaboration with the Science Department of the Università della Basilicata in Potenza. It studies applications and quality improvement of secondary metabolites, hemp growing innovations, and technical solutions.
IndicaSativa Trade, an international fair dedicated to hemp, will take place on June 5-7, 2015 in Bologna, Italy and it will be our showcase. On June 5 at 1pm, we will offer a basic course for hemp growers: the list of speakers includes Marcello Scarcella, agronomist of the CRA, and manager of the phytosanitary division of the Società Agricola Eletta whose talk will illustrate various types of cultivar; Giampaolo Grassi, first researcher of the CRA-CIn based in Rovigo, Italy, who will describe genetic differences among hemp; Carlo Alberto Zaina, Cassation lawyer, who will expose the current normative on hemp growing and transformation.
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