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A sign for Marley Gelato from Perlecò, a premium gelato hub in Italy (Source: CNN

There are numerous ways to support the legal cannabis movement. Some protest around government establishments, while others sing about their favorite herb in coffee shops and outdoor gatherings. In Italy, locals show their support for marijuana by hitting up Perlecò, a premium gelato hub that serves cannabis ice cream.

The shop is located in Liguria, a narrow strip of land filled with natural reserves and beaches. Individuals who are familiar with the business are always kept on their toes when it comes to new flavors brewing inside the shop. Previous local favorites include a beer crème gelato that is virtually unheard of in other parts of the world. For the latest cannabis gelato flavor, Emanuela Baudana, the owner of the business, named the treat after Bob Marley.

Marley Gelato

Launching the cannabis-flavored desert took a lot of time and preparation. The company first had to find a reliable source for marijuana. For this, the business turned to Canapa Ligure, a local organization that specializes in cannabis advocacy and education. Alberto Barbieri, the founder of the group, used his connections to introduce the shop with reputable sellers. After establishing a constant supply, the crew went into production and testing mode. Since no one has ever made marijuana-infused gelato before, the company had to conduct their own trials.

“Cannabis has a very intense flavor,” said Aldo De Michelis, a shop representative, during an interview with CNN. “At first it tastes like nuts, but the aftertaste is strong. That’s why it took us a month to find a good recipe.”

Italy’s Revamped Standards on Medical Marijuana

To avoid getting arrested, the business used shelled hemp seeds to generate the cannabis flavor inside the gelato. The THC medium contains minimal (and legal) levels of the psychoactive compound, which may leave a tingling feeling in one’s head after consuming the sweet treat. “When we announced the new flavor, we received up to 10 phone calls per day,” explained De Michelis. “Some kids even came thinking they could get high with our gelato.”

De Michelis verified that the shop sells a wide range of weed-laced delicacies, including chocolate bars. The crew is extremely health-conscious, and was inspired to extend their cannabis products after indulging in a batch of extra-virgin cannabis oil.

Italy’s stand on medical marijuana has loosened prolifically in the past decade. Since 2013, patients with valid prescriptions have been able to purchase the drug without resistance from local authorities. Medical cannabis growers are also well protected by the government. Recently, a bill was passed that reduced the punishment of growing-related violations from hefty jail time to misdemeanor warnings and fines. However, the country’s position on recreational marijuana still remains tight. Civilians caught growing weed without a valid license could be subject to a lengthy prison sentence (up to one year) with fines up to four million euros.

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