Malta has made it legal for family GPs to prescribe their patients with medical cannabis. Patients will be able to request a medical marijuana card which upon request and approval is issued by Malta’s Public Health Superintendent.
Who Is Eligible To Use Medical Cannabis In Malta?
Currently, medicinal cannabis is only available to patients with the following health conditions - Chronic pain, multiple sclerosis related muscle problems and chemotherapy side effects.
While many have celebrated this as a step forward, they feel it is not enough. Advocates argue that other conditions such as glaucoma, epilepsy, and nausea can, and should be treated with medical marijuana.
A Step In The Right Direction But Not Enough
Another issue advocate groups find troublesome is the fact that the medical cannabis available to limited groups in Malta is ‘non smokeable.’
Groups such as the The Malta Cannabis Social Club have been quick to remind people that smoking marijuana in public will incur a €12.50 fine on the spot and immediate confiscation of the marijuana.
Good For The Economy?
Taking the step to legalise medical cannabis, albeit in a limited capacity could be a boost to Malta’s economy. This change in regulations has attracted the attention of international investors and five production projects have already been approved by Malta Enterprise.
International companies from Israel, Australia and Canada will be leading the projects. Approx 30m Euros are expected to be generated in revenue from these projects and 185 new jobs to help boost the Maltese economy.
Small Batch Cultivation Or Large Scale Cannabis Production?
According to Malta Today, a 4,000 sq. m medical cannabis facility has been awarded to an Australian cannabis corporation (MXC (MGC Pharma)) by Malta Enterprise.
Although the Maltese PM is believed to have previously claimed only ‘small batch cultivation for research purposes’ would be allowed, the approval of this large cannabis production facility appears to run contrary to this claim, at least on the surface anyway.
The Maltese government reiterated that no change in policy has taken place. The cultivation carried out by this facility will not be for ‘sale of flower buds’ but rather for ‘medicinal products, research or scientific purposes.’ In short, the processing of cannabis will be strictly for medicinal purposes under the existing legal framework.
The existing agreement between MGC Pharma and the Maltese government allows for the production of all strains of THC and CBD medical cannabis. This provides the company with a commercial opportunity for additional cannabis pharmaceutical product development in ‘key European and global markets, which derive benefits from THC in addition to CBD.’
Nuuvera are another company with a keen interest in the legislation changes to medical cannabis law in Malta. The Canadian corporation is one of the world’s largest cannabis companies and as part of a $5 million business expansion plan targeting Europe, Nuuvera have expressed the desire to set up in Malta.
The company intends to ‘focus on low-cost, high-quality inputs and build GMP-certified labs to create products and formulations for distribution to local and global markets’ as stated in a recent press release.
Could this spark a change in how other nations nearby start to view cannabis for medical purposes?
We’d love to hear your thoughts!