The first article of my first blog was born, not surprisingly, on May 1st, on Labor Day. Until seven years ago I didn't even think about it. A worker was just a worker. I did not think about his rights, his dreams, his fatigue. Yet all my life until then I spent in the countryside with my uncles, who still today after 50 years are crossing the fields by tractor. Under the sun, from sunrise to sunset. Even today they work. Also on December 25th, January 1st, August 15th. Farmers never leave their land. Not a day goes by when they don't water the plants with their sweat or check the roots of their vegetables. Coldiretti itself, on this first May 2018, has foreseen 200 thousand farmers committed to working the land. And, according to the farmers' association, 32% of Italians traveling to the bridge have chosen "green" destinations in the countryside and farmhouses. Because our brains think green now. Companies, with their green marketing, a sustainable economy at 360 °, think green. And CanaPuglia, green, is. For seven years.

The birth, 2011. “If you know a way to save the planet, don't whisper it but shout it,” said an Australian documentary from 1995, “The hemp revolution”. Sixteen years later I found the way. And I screamed it. But between the whisper and the scream I studied. Starting with the first time, in 2005, I happened to read an article by Doug Yurchey entitled “Marijuana: the big scam” online on the site. For the first time it wasn't called a joint, it wasn't a joint, a bomb, a slug, a joint, a twist, a smoke, a weed, a marijuana. It looked the same, the same smell, the same taste, but it was called hemp. It was a leaf that could have counted eleven points. And I had known perhaps five until then, like everyone else, as the classic Bobmarleyan iconography has taught us. When I finished reading, a voice inside me said to scream to make that information known. A call to the world to free the plant from the prejudice that labeled it as a dangerous substance and as a drug to stay away from. Five years and a thousand articles and books later, I participated in a call from the Puglia Region, Principi Attivi. Out of over two thousand candidates I finished 116th. With a grant of twenty five thousand euros I won my bet, that of disseminating and informing citizens about the twenty-five thousand resources of hemp. And if at least one person today will say that not only the pig but also the hemp is not thrown away, then it will mean that the bet was not just me. I discovered the "vegetable pig". In 2011 I founded the non-profit association CanaPuglia in Conversano, going around conferences and seminars, planting seeds and visually bringing people closer to the plant. Not only to the flower, but to the stem, the root, the terpenes. After seven years we have, among our customers, farmers with fifty years of experience in the fields, the elderly, women, children, the sick. In seven years I have made my passion a job, a company.

Our numbers

  • 500 companies supplied and assisted by CanaPuglia in the cultivation of hemp: in all Italian regions and abroad (Europe and USA)
  • 400+ hectares cultivated in Italy and Europe thanks to the supply of CanaPuglia
  • 120 hectares sown in Puglia in 2013, the first region in Italy, thanks to the work of CanaPuglia
  • 1st training course on hemp cultivation in Italy in 2013
  • 480 people trained from 10 Italian regions
  • 15 companies continuously assisted in production and cultivation
  • 100+ marketed products of various categories (food, cosmetics, fabrics, construction, oils, extracts, seeds, paper, medical devices, CBD, etc.)
  • 20 Canapuglia brand products
  • 15 points of sale born with the training and consultancy provided by CanaPuglia
  • 1,000+ people involved in guided tours of the crops
  • 15 organized events and over 50 those in which CanaPuglia participated in Italy
  • 100+ newspapers, in Italy and abroad, in which CanaPuglia has appeared
  • 2 million unique accesses to the website
  • 20 thousand + users who follow the CanaPuglia Facebook page with 5 thousand + daily interactions
  • 5 million + people reached through social media communication since 2011
  • 2 affiliated universities: Bari and Camerino
  • 50+ degree theses developed with the support of CanaPuglia
  • 10+ contacts with scientists worldwide including Raphael Mechoulam (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Lester Grinspoon (Harvard Medical School),
  • 10 bodies involved and collaborations (schools, research bodies)
  • 300+ Italian patients assisted for access to treatment with medical cannabis
  • 3 shared research projects at national level

Our firsts

2011 : pizza with hemp dough, together with coffee, pasta, was presented for the first time in Italy, including the first production of "orecchiette" and other typical Apulian products: taralli, biscuits and friselle

2012 : 1st training course for installers and technicians on green building in hemp and lime

2012 : fundamental contribution to the recovery of the historic Italian variety "Eletta Campana", (disappeared for seventy years)

Institutional roles and positions

2010 - 2013:  Assocanapa referent for Puglia

2012 - 2018 : member of the technical table of the Ministry of Agricultural Policies for the drafting of law n. 242 on the hemp supply chain (approved on 17.01.2017)

2013 : 1st research project launched in Italy on phytoremediation of soils contaminated by heavy metals and other pollutants in Taranto (near ILVA)

2014 : hearing in the Agriculture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies

2014 : collaboration with the CNR of Milan for the national research project VeLiCa (Vegetables-Linen-Hemp)

Awards and acknowledgments

2010: Bollenti Spiriti Award of the Puglia Region

2012: Faraglioni di Puglia Environment Award 2012

2017: Company selected in the stand of the Puglia Region for the Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan