Medicinal marijuana could soon be produced in Malta as proposed legislation providing for the production of cannabis for medicinal use has now been published.
The proposed legislation says that the producers of medical marijuana in Malta will be exempt from existing drug laws that make it illegal to possess, cultivate and import cannabis.
The exemption only applies to cannabis and not other drugs.
Any entity or person wanting to produce medical marijuana will have to obtain a letter of intent from Malta Enterprise and a licence from the Medicines Authority. The producer will also have to comply with strict production and quality standards for the production of medicines set out at law.
If the license holder violates the licence and engages in illegal activity, the exemption from the drug laws will no longer apply.
Furthermore, the cultivation, importation or processing of cannabis, or the trade in cannabis and, or any preparations intended for medicinal use is prohibited unless prior approvals, authorisations, licences or permits are acquired.
The Bill was published after the government put forward the First Reading in Parliament.
The government has opted to move faster on facilitating the use and production of medicinal marijuana, on which there is widespread consensus, than on marijuana for recreational purposes, which is being discussed as a separate issue.