Medical Cannabis In Malta Is 'Months' Away
Medicines Authority discussing possibility of licensing dried cannabis buds
Medical marijuana is slowly but surely becoming a thing in Malta. In the "coming months", Sativex spray will be made available to patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), but the Medicines Authority is also "listening to stakeholders" on a range of other forms and treatments of cannabis.
Sativex® oromucosal spray has already been licensed. It contains 2.7 mg delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 2.5 mg cannabidiol (CBD) per 100microlitre spray.
The spray is intended for adult patients of MS with "moderate to severe spasticity" and who have not responded adequately to other anti-spasticity medication. Patients would also need to demonstrate clinically significant improvement during initial trial of therapy, according to Prof. Anthony Serracino Inglott, who heads the Medicines Authority.
As far as other cannabis-based products, the Medicines Authority is listening to stakeholders and therefore it is inopportune to make any further comments at this stage," he told Lovin Malta.
One of the stakeholders being listened to is the Pain Clinic, in Paola, which is run by a family doctor trained in pain management and alternative medicine. In a recent post on Facebook, the clinic announced that it had a meeting with the Medicines Authority which went very well.
The clinic proposed the introduction of Bedrocan, which comes in the form of pharmaceutical-grade dried cannabis buds which can be vaporized, brewed as tea or smoked.
"There is a wide range of Bedrocan products which can be used as medicine depending on the THC:CBD ratio required for the patient's medical condition, making it a fantastic tool to manage a wide range of conditions including persistent pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia and many more," the Pain Clinic said, adding that there could also be the possibility of local dispensaries in the future.
If Malta does see the recognition of these strains of cannabis as medicines, it will be joining countries such as Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Puerto Rico, Turkey, and the USA – where medical use of cannabis is allowed.