Government Takes First Real Step Towards Legalising Cannabis in Malta
Cabinet approved legalising and producing the medicine in Malta
Malta's cabinet has approved a law that allows the use of medicinal cannabis products in Malta, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced at a meeting in Santa Venera.
This approved law will now go to Parliament to be debated by both sides of the house.
A major change that this approved law proposes is that all doctors will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to their patients.
As the law stands today, only specialists can prescribe medicinal cannabis, and in reality, very few people have been able to successfully have it prescribed in Malta, making medicinal cannabis legal in theory but inaccessible in practice.
The new law will make it much easier for patients to be obtain this medicine.
“Cabinet has approved legal amendments to help people suffering from illnesses such as cancer – who have so far had to jump through hoops to get their hands on this medication made from marijuana extracts,” Joseph Muscat said.
This announcement was met with praise online, especially from older people who have long awaited medical cannabis being accessible in Malta.
Joseph Muscat laid out an economic vision for the medicinal cannabis industry in Malta, saying he wanted Malta to become a European centre where the sale of medicinal cannabis products not only occurs but is also produced. He said that this was a step forward that all of Europe is discussing right now.
He also said that companies from around the world were looking at ways to come to Europe and base their operations here, and that Malta should be able to receive them not "with fear, but with thought, vision, and regulation."
The medical products in question would include the medical preparations, such as oils, syrups or extracts, and not the actual flower itself, and does not go into whether the actual product will be grown in Malta or not.
Plans for Malta to start producing medicinal cannabis products have been put forward by other Maltese organisations, such as ELSA's Social Policy Report on Cannabis Legalisation or the ReLeaf Manifesto, but this is the first time in Malta's history that a government itself is actively discussing producing cannabis related products in Malta.
The government will now be discussing medical cannabis over the coming months, before discussing the legalisation of recreational cannabis in separate discussions.