By Mike Pomranz
Updated February 25, 2016
Credit: © Jacqueline Veissid / Getty Images

Loosening restrictions on pot is an issue that’s taken hold in many countries around the world, with different organizations using different tactics to advocate for pro-marijuana policies. One group in Italy, however, has been employing a somewhat original tactic, attempting to help normalize cannabis by encouraging local eateries to use hemp seeds in their food.

Canapa Ligure, an Italian legalization advocacy organization founded by Alberto Barbieri, had a huge success late last year when they helped convince Perleco, a local gelato shop in Liguria, to make “Marley,” a hemp-seed-flavored gelato meant to raise awareness for the health benefits of hemp, not to mention the amazing reggae stylings of the dessert’s namesake (not that Bob needs any additional introduction). That unique product grabbed international coverage, bringing additional attention to the work of the regional pro-pot group.

But Barbieri hasn’t stopped at simply infiltrating local ice cream shops. According to Munchies, his group has also gotten restaurants to add hemp seeds to chocolate and even that Italian staple, pizza, with a local pizza-maker agreeing to make pies with cannabis flour in the dough. “In general, we try to connect the different local businesses and to provide information on the use of cannabis/hemp,” Barbieri told the site.

Of course eating a food that’s been flavored with hemp seeds is a far cry from pulling pot smoke from a six-foot bong. But Canapa Ligure seems to be content on keeping things relatively low key. When the hemp gelato was released, it was marketed with the slogan “it tastes good and it does good.” You don’t need to be high to pick up on the meaning of that message.