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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
The S&P/TSX Cannabis Index lost 3.61 to 87.79, while the CSE Composite Index lost 5.16 to 512.77. Over in Europe, Italian reform advocates are moving closer to placing a cannabis legalization referendum on the national ballot this spring.
The advocates filed the referendum question in September and submitted 630,000 signatures in October. Now the Supreme Court of Cassation has certified the signatures, paving the way for the referendum to go to the Constitutional Court to determine legality. The advocates stated on their Facebook page that they expect a ruling by Feb. 15. If the ruling is favourable, the government will set a date for the vote, expected between April 15 and June 15. A simple majority could then enact the reform.
With a population of around 59 million, Italy would be an alluring market for the cannabis industry, but there is one problem: The referendum revolves around personal cultivation only, and would not establish a system of regulated sales. A complex history with cannabis reform has led advocates to tread carefully. Among many apparent contradictions: The government legalized medical cannabis in 2007, but made it nearly impossible to access until 2017. Buying cannabis seeds is legal; growing them is not. Low-THC bud is available in many stores for legal purchase, but not for legal consumption (it is sold as a "collector's item"). On it goes. Under the glare of the influential Roman Catholic Church, Italian cannabis advocates take their victories where they can.
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