A new Cannabis Authority could start off life next year with an initial budget of €100,000.
The 2022 budget estimates for the Ministry of Reforms allocate €100,000 to the regulation of cannabis, as well as a further €400,000 on an ongoing cannabis educational campaign that is being carried out in conjunction with the Foundation of Social Welfare Services.
While the €100,000 amount is small considering it involves the formation of an entirely new authority, budget estimates aren’t completely set in stone and can be tweaked if needs be.
The inclusion of cannabis regulation in the budget comes a few days after Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici published a bill proposing widespread cannabis reform.
An Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis will be set up to regulate cannabis associations, non-profit groups that will be able to grow the plant for its members.
The bill obliges cannabis associations to follow several rules, from restricting membership to 500 adults, to strict marketing restrictions to sending the design of the containers in which they will distribute the plant to the Cannabis Authority for approval.
The Cannabis Authority will also be responsible for submitting proposals to the government concerning a national cannabis policy and participating in educational and outreach programmes.
It will consist of a board composed of a chairperson and four to eight other members, as well as a directorate and a Chief Executive Officer.
Do you agree with the proposed cannabis reform?