Three years on since Malta legalised cannabis for medical use, and a total of 1,377 people are currently registered to obtain and use the plant.
The figures were released by Health Minister Chris Fearne as part of a response to a Parliamentary Question by PN MP Maria Deguara.
The numbers did not include how many people had applied for access to medical cannabis and were subsequently refused, or how many people had been given the green light but were then removed from the programme.
Malta offers two brands of medical cannabis, Pedanios and Bedrocan, in a range of strengths, and can be prescribed for a number of illnesses including Multiple Sclerosis, AIDS wasting syndrome or even to address issues like nausea or vomiting.
It hasn’t been easy for many patients hoping to use the medicine with ease.
Over the years, everything from a register for medicinal cannabis users to issues over the prices has risen. At one point, suspending medical user’s driving licenses as they used their medicine was even brought up.
Other incidents have displayed the local legal lacuna where there should have been European-wide harmonisation, such as when medical cannabis users visited Malta with their legal medicine – only for them to be arrested and fined for it.
Malta has also heavily invested in a local medical cannabis industry, with land even being earmarked for factories to be set up. However, years on and after much investment and press conferences, the island has yet to see the local medicinal cannabis industry take off.