A joint project of the military and doctors is aimed to halve the money the seriously ill patients spend on painkillers.
Behind the armored door on an isolated farm near Venice the last research for special military projects are ongoing.
It is marijuana, which soon will be grown by the Italian army for the Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, biologists are trying to discover a breed with the highest content of psychotropic substances.
"The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has significant advantages. Few milligrams of a substance that can be dissolved in a drink or bakery food, can provide a patient with a dose needed for positive effect," says biologist Janpaolo Grass.
In Italy, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes was legalized last year. However, not everyone can afford to get such a painkiller. The government imports herbs mostly from the Netherlands. Therefore, a month course of this therapy for the treatment of, for example, multiple sclerosis, costs 700 euros.
"Our goal is to reduce the cost. At least to halve it. I think that at the Army base we will be able to grow enough material for the needs of the Italian patients. It is about 100 kilograms of active substance," said the Minister of Health of Italy Beatrice Lorenzin.
To reduce the risk of theft of valuable products, the medicine will be produced right there on the pharmaceutical factory in Florence that is producing medicines for the army.
The Italian government has no plans to take it a step further and legalize soft drugs. Growing marijuana at home and selling it is still a criminal case.