Understanding Medical Cannabis Regulation in Malta
A Guide To Malta’s Medical Cannabis Laws
In 2015, the Drug Dependence Act laid out a set of legal guidelines regulating the possession and use of medical cannabis with a prescription from a local doctor. They also provided details on what kind of government-approved physicians are able to issue such prescriptions.
Under Malta’s new medicinal cannabis laws, people who suffer with debilitating conditions are able to visit one of the doctors approved by the Malta Medical Council, in order to acquire a prescription for medicinal preparations of cannabis.
Then in 2018, Malta officially legalised medical cannabis, making it the de facto medical cannabis capital of the European Union.
As per the new laws, approved entities are able to produce, cultivate, import, and process cannabis as long as it is purely for medical purposes and in line with the scope of the Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Research Purposes Act. All of these activities must be carried out in a supervised and controlled environment, as long as all regulatory requirements have been met before such activities commence.
Benefits of Legalised Medical Cannabis
Advantages of regulating medicinal cannabis in Malta includes being able to provide relief to those that require medicinal cannabis for health problems, the removal of criminal and punitive measures for drug users within society, and a way for Maltese citizens to partake in the industry and boost the economy in a legal and regulated way.
Under the 2018 Act, a number of laws were put into place which stipulated the conditions under which medicinal cannabis can, and cannot be produced. Without the necessary approvals, licenses and authorisations, the cultivation, importation and processing of cannabis cannot be carried out in Malta, nor can any cannabis products be produced or traded.
If an individual or entity wishes to carry out any of these activities, they are required to comply with the Act by carrying out a number of administrative steps.
Firstly, a letter of intent must be obtained from Malta Enterprise. Then, all regulations must be adhered to as well as any international obligations resulting from a treaty to which Malta may be party to. Furthermore, there must be full compliance with all regulations relating to the production and quality standards of products covered by the Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Research Purposes Act and the Medicines Act.
Once this had been done, a license may be granted by the regulatory authority but the individual or entity must ensure that they remain compliant with the requirements as well as any future changes to any applicable laws.
The Maltese medical cannabis industry has a lot of potential for local and international companies who want to grow and/or process cannabis for medical purposes. It can result in an additional source of revenue and jobs for the country. As long as regulations are implemented properly and adhered to with full transparency and dedication, Malta could cement itself as a prime location for cannabis-focussed investors.
BDO Malta provides corporate, legal, and financial advice and guidance to businesses planning to operate within the sphere of medicinal cannabis in Malta. We are also on hand to provide assistance with applying for the necessary licenses and permits required to conduct business of this type, within the Maltese jurisdiction.
Get in touch with BDO's Advisory Team