How many of you have never thought that you could start a business relevant to the world of cannabis?

The law of 2 December 2016 n. 242 structured for the promotion of the cultivation and agro-industrial chain of hemp, considers the latter as an agricultural and industrial plant, and regulates its cultivation and use.

Index of sections

  • How to open a physical store?
  • What can you sell in the shop?
  • How can you make the most of the market?


 The cultivation of hemp for industrial use can be encouraged, as:

"Able to contribute to the reduction of the environmental impact in agriculture, the reduction of soil consumption and desertification and the loss of biodiversity".

In particular, pursuant to paragraph 3 "Support and promotion concern the cultivation of hemp aimed at:

  • to cultivation and processing;
    encouraging the use and final consumption of semi-finished hemp products from primarily local supply chains;
    the development of integrated territorial supply chains that enhance research results and pursue local integration and real economic and environmental sustainability;
    the production of innovative food, cosmetics, biodegradable raw materials and semi-finished products for industries in various sectors;
    the realization of bioengineering works, land reclamation, teaching and research activities.

Starting from this event in our country we have witnessed an incredible increase in commercial and production activities related to the world of Italian legal cannabis, a phenomenon that has been defined Cannabis Light, in relation to the fact that the plant from which the flowers are collected , is present in the European register of permitted genetics and is characterized by a THC production below the permitted threshold 0.2%. According to a report by the European association of industrial hemp EIHA published in January 2020 (data from 2018), France accounts for 37% of industrial hemp cultivation in Europe with 17,900 hectares cultivated. Italy follows with 4,000 cultivated hectares (8%) and the Netherlands with 3,833 hectares. We have witnessed an explosion of growshop, headshop and hempshop opening and hundreds of other new businesses that are entering the market. In recent years, the number of specialized shops has more than quadrupled from 100 in 2005 to over 460 registered by the Magica Italia guide in mid-2018,

How to open a physical store?

You may have wondered at this point: how specifically to start a traditional commercial enterprise? Recall that opening a business also means producing goods or providing services in a certain sector. Which we can identify and classify in three different sectors:

  • primary sector (for example: agriculture, livestock, fishing);
    secondary sector (for example: manufacturing industry, construction);
    tertiary sector (for example the provision of services).

Depending on the legal form chosen to open the company, there are different requirements and procedures. The bureaucratic process to open it will be as follows:

  • opening of the VAT number;
    registration in the Business Register;
    communicate the documents to the Chamber of Commerce;
    send the commencement notice to the municipality;
    in the case of hiring of personnel, opening of positions through INPS and INAIL.

As we mentioned before, the requirements and procedures necessary for opening a new company are different for the type of company you want to set up, from the sector, to the type of activity up to the starting point, the whole path is marked by a I specify the procedure. We advise you to always check everything you need through government portals and above all to rely on specialists on the subject. Clearly opening a company involves costs that vary according to the ideas and the size of the project you are aiming for. When we talk about starting a business we are talking about figures that are close to tens of thousands of euros, but costs soar when you want to create an ad hoc product or service or if you need to buy a property. Don't worry, you can always take advantage of incentives, there are all kinds, check the web for further information.

What can you sell in the shop?

The store that will open may be specific in one sector rather than another. You could sell gardening equipment, then open what we can define as a growshop in which you will deal with the sale of cultivation equipment and then delight in growbox  fertilizers, seeds, soil and all kinds of solutions to care for and grow yours. little ones.

You can decide to open a shop exclusively based on the sale of products for the technical use of inflorescences and extracts, which we will technically define as Headshop. The products that can be sold are those that contain Cannabidiol (see here), so let's talk about inflorescences, hashsh, CBD oils (see here) and some more or less standard accessories for smokers.

The third alternative could be the opening of a shop in which all these areas listed above can converge (growshop, headshop) that combine products from the production and processing of industrial hemp: fabrics, bags, gadgets, clothing, specific cosmetics with CBD , hemp flour-based food products and hemp beers. This kind of business is called Hemp Shop.

Whatever your choice, remember that a shop of this kind should be an information and awareness point for cannabis. Raising awareness and informing is the key combination, try to provide your premises with infopoints, books, magazines, images, try to make people understand the extraordinary culture that lies behind a self-respecting cannabis shop. The implicit process that is activated when you open a shop in the sector is to allow an idea of ​​legalization and social acceptability to take hold in Italy, unfortunately the homeland of conservatives and bigots.

How to start a cultivation?

Always according to the Law n. 242/2016 under examination, in art. 2, specifies that the cultivation of hemp, and therefore the admitted and certified European varieties, can take place without the need to obtain any type of authorization in advance. In fact, farmers or anyone who works in the industrial field with hemp, have the possibility to grow hemp, provided that it is one of the accepted varieties, without having to obtain an authorization from the Police or other competent Authorities, as opposed to what the law established before 2016:

"For the purposes of the protection of farmers who believe they are taking advantage of the Community measures in question and to allow the police bodies to carry out checks on the aforementioned aid scheme, the operators concerned must notify the planting of the cannabis sativa culture to the nearest police station (State Police, Carabinieri Corps, Finance Police, etc.) ".

The obligation to communicate one's hemp cultivation to the police has been removed with the new law. However, it is recommended to evaluate the opportunity to communicate the start of the cultivation of legal cannabis, to establish a climate of collaboration with the police and with the judicial authority, since only laboratory analyzes can allow the distinction between legal cannabis sativa and illegal cannabis (and therefore with THC contents> 0.2%), the important thing for a farm is to keep ALWAYS AND ANYWAY the tag certifying the origin of the seed with the corresponding batch on the label to facilitate the tracking procedures and the obligation to keep the purchase invoices to be shown at the time of possible checks.

The costs for the preparation of the land, irrigation, harvest, agricultural tools, fuel and fertilizer and other necessary, are estimated at € 1000 for each hectare of land. Given the size of the machinery used, it is advisable not to place the cultivation on small plots of land as it could make the harvesting operation difficult and more expensive. The alternative to outdoor production is indoor with the consequent increase in costs for the installation of a self-sufficient system. Thanks to the technologies applicable to indoor cultivation, and through the knowledge of production processes, it is possible to set up plants for the indoor production of industrial hemp, intended for the massive production of the flower. The structure must be divided into 3 main areas:

  • Mother plants and cuttings room
    Vegetative room
    Flowering room

To start the cultivation of hemp you can start from seed, but in unofficial ways also from cuttings. The seed is a cheaper and more immediate method but the limitation of this method is that there is no guarantee of homogeneity in the concentration of the active ingredient THC within the flowers and it is also not possible to establish a priori the gender of the seed. The cultivation technique from this, on the other hand, has the advantage of being able to have plants with the same sex and characterized by the same genetic heritage of the mother plant and all the clones (cuttings) that will gradually be generated will be female. The subdivision of the rooms makes it possible to dedicate a special room for the vegetative maintenance of the producing mothers. The self-production of cuttings will allow us to always have the plants necessary for our needs both in terms of quantity and variety, without forgetting the economic savings. The lighting of this area will follow a permanent vegetative state of 18 hours of light and 6 of darkness using lamps with a cold white / blue spectrum.

The recommended surface to be allocated to this area can be relatively small, considering the fact that we can grow 4 mother plants per square meter. they can generate 50 clones per month once fully operational for the entire life cycle. The cuttings can happily coexist in the same environment as the mother plants, do not take up much space and can also be positioned on vertical structures so as to optimize space, and allocate as much surface as possible for flowering.

Indoor cultivation requires a specific set-up and therefore will involve a high cost of electricity consumption. Lamps, vacuums, irrigation and monitoring equipment intended for large-scale cultivation will only make your users rise. Remember that an indoor agricultural production facility can be accompanied by self-supporting systems such as solar panels (through which you can take advantage of additional funding) such as to be able to cover the necessary needs of the entire indoor structure with the consequent cost savings.

The use of water that characterizes agricultural crops is necessary for the subsistence of plants, therefore paying attention to saving resources, and therefore also of water, a hydroponic system could be designed, i.e. an above-ground cultivation system that exposes the roots in direct contact with water carrying the nutrients. Last but not least, it is also possible to limit the costs of the nourishment necessary for all the evolutionary phases of the plant through an aquaponics system, or the use of H2O collection and treatment tanks populated by fish that through their organic waste would go to enrich the water that will nourish our plants with organic matter, thus creating a continuous circle. The aquaponics system also allows you to breed certain types of fish that can represent a plus for your farm. Particularly sought after species is that of Carpe Coi, the ornamental carp typical of Japanese scenarios.

How can you make the most of the market?

Hemp has quite a wide use, don't just focus on the prospect of being able to produce tasty resinous CBD buds. As my teacher said “hemp is like pork, nothing is thrown away”. Precisely from this principle it is necessary to have an eye towards the possible production of genetics inclined to the production of the best fiber which, given its characteristics, lends itself well to processing useful for obtaining clothes, objects of various kinds and material for green building  , remember that hemp can be included in the funding allocated by the government for the energy efficiency of buildings.
Furthermore, it can be used for the production of seeds and therefore the possibility of having hemp seed flour and oil which, thanks to its innumerable organoleptic properties, will allow us to prepare, or buy, food and drinks. Or even CBD oil and hemp seed oil can be used for the production of cosmetics, phytotherapy, biodegradable raw materials, bioplastics. Precisely because of these incredible potentials, hemp deserves to be cultivated, the advantages are certainly the speed of growth, the reduction in the use of polluting pesticides and obviously the improvement in the quality of the air and the land on which it is grown.


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