Cannabis smokers will be able to carry up to seven grams of cannabis on their person and grow up to four plants at home under new proposed cannabis laws, Reforms Minister Owen Bonnici announced this morning.
On Monday, the minister tabled a Bill amending Malta’s drug laws, as part of a promised reform on cannabis legislation.
Speaking during a press conference launching the reform, Bonnici insisted that the was not intended to incentivise the use or culture of cannabis consumption, and was targetted mainly at combatting the black market.
The 20 principles underpinning the reform are:
Possession and cultivation
- Persons aged 18 and over can have up to seven grams in their possession and won’t be charged in court or face proceedings before a justice commissioner if caught. Police will no longer have the right to detain anyone caught with the plant.
- If a person younger than 18 is caught with up to seven grams, they will face proceedings before a justice commissioner and be given a care plan.
- The possession of between seven and 28 grams of cannabis will be punishable with a fine of between €50 and €100, as well as proceedings before a justice commissioner.
- Up to four cannabis plants will be allowed in private residences, but they must still be kept out of sight.
- Consumption of cannabis in public will remain illegal with the person being subjected to a fine
- Likewise, smoking around minors, whether in public or private, will be illegal and carry a fine of up to €500
- Fines related to unauthorised use will be payable online
- Anyone growing cannabis at home will be able to store up to 50 grams of dried plant at home
- The Responsible Cannabis Use Authority, which will regulate the sector in such a way that it also carries out educational, outreach and stakeholder measures in the sector will be set up under the act
- Cannabis associations that distribute cannabis among their members will be allowed
- Up to 7 grams a day can be distributed to each member with a maximum of 50 grams per month. The organisation will also be able to distribute up to 20 cannabis seeds to each member and cannot have more than 500 grams of the plant on their premises at any given time
- Any cannabis association cannot be situated within 250 metres of a school
- The organisation must be registered and authorised by the Responsible Cannabis Use Authority, which will be established by the new law
- The authority will have the right to carry out checks on each premises
- Associations will need to disclose the number of members they cater for every three months though they will not need to disclose any names
- Legal persons and other legal entities cannot be the owners of cannabis associations
What do you make of these proposals?