WATCH: MEP Miriam Dalli Calls On European Commission To Fund More Research Into Medical Cannabis
Malta is taking the lead on cannabis-based medicinal products in Europe
MEP Miriam Dalli has called on the European Commission to dedicate funding to medical cannabis research across the continent.
She was addressing the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in Brussels this week.
Saying that "research is at the heart of it all," she welcomed efforts by countries who are studying the plant, before saying "we need to have more information and we need to know much, much more."
This speech comes hot on the heels of the recent second reading of the medical marijuana bill in Malta, where Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called the medical cannabis industry in Malta "the future".
Dalli echoed the Prime Minister's insistence of separating the discussion regarding medical cannabis with recreational cannabis, she pointed out that while the production of medicinal cannabis was beginning to be regulated, production of cannabis for personal use remained unregulated.
She also noted the importance of knowing where the medicine comes from: "It is about traceability, it’s about safety and once these are ensured, the next step is to ensure that patients have equal access to it. What is the point of regulation if only the few would have access to that kind of medicine?"
During her speech she noted some specifics about the cannabis plant, and was able to delve into a bit of detail: "It must be ensured that different studies are conducted on different parts of the cannabis plant. It has a total of 113 active cannabinoids - CBD accounts for 40% of the plant that has no psychoactive properties. We are mentioning CBD oil, which is highly effective when it comes to treating pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and others."
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat discussing medicinal cannabis in Maltese Parliament
Interestingly, Dalli placed Malta among the pioneers of the world that are pushing cannabis regulation forward. She mentioned the US, Israel, Denmark and Malta as those "exploring the scenario in this regard."
She called on a network to exchange research, new findings and best practice throughout the EU member states, before ending by asking what the European Commission will be doing to encourage further research in this area.