Regarding cannabis, Italy headed in the direction of Americaby Roberta Lunghini - 2017.01.17
Let’s Weed is the first and only platform in Italy dedicated to therapeutic cannabis. We spoke with its founder, Antonio Perri.
How was the idea of an Italian platform for therapeutic cannabis born? How does the service work?
“It all began in April 2015 in Copertino, a small Italian town in the province of Lecce, in the Italian region of Puglia. In fact, the town’s sister city in the U.S. is Cupertino (Silicon Valley). And it was there, as a Management Engineer, together with a Programmer Analyst, Stefano Rosato, that we decided to combine our skills in a project with a social impact. So, the idea of Let’s Weed came to me one night, in the period between light dreaming and heavy sleep. Stefano liked the idea immediately and the first version was ready to be launched online within only 7 days. Anyone can register and have free access to our system and to a list of Italian doctors who prescribe therapies based on cannabis and the pharmacies that distribute them. Users can also get in touch with each other and exchange information and best practices for specific pathologies that are treatable with cannabinoids. The system is highly reliable because we do background checks on each doctor and on each pharmacy, one by one”.
Do you have any type of agreement or support with the Public Administration, for example, the Ministry of Health?
“No absolutely none. This is a private initiative. On several occasions, we tried contacting the Health Ministry, but they never answered. You can just imagine how helpful it would be if we had some institutional support. The system could be extended to every region in Italy, and it would no longer be necessary to verify each doctor and each pharmacy manually. That does not mean, however, that our services are not perfectly in line with the Health Ministry’s guidelines, adhering to all of the regulations that have been published to date. And all the products listed by us are only and exclusively those that have been legally authorized by the Ministry of Health".
And, so, how are you able to finance this activity?
“From our own pockets. We had no intention of making money with Let’s Weed. We only wanted to launch something innovative. Which is another thing altogether: because it is a challenge, in and of itself, but also it offers something completely new”.
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