Cannabis authority to start accepting license applications by next February

People will be able to apply for a license to run a non-profit cannabis club by February 2023

The Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis will be in a position to start accepting applications for cannabis club licenses by next February, according to Parliamentary Secretary Rebecca Buttigieg.

Speaking in Parliament, Buttigieg said that prospective cannabis associations will be able to apply for a license next year.

Apart from growing your own cannabis plants, these cannabis associations are the only legal way for people to buy weed.

Malta legalized cannabis last year, allowing people to grow up to four cannabis plants in their private residence.

The reform introduced the concept of ‘cannabis clubs’, or non-profit associations that can grow cannabis and distribute it among its members.

The aim of this was to reduce the harm of drug rings, as opposed to incentivizing cannabis culture or consumption.

A regulatory authority was set up as part of the reform to regulate these associations. The Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis was to regulate the sector while carrying out educational, outreach and stakeholder measures in the sector.

Mariella Dimech, a former Caritas drug rehab coordinator, was the first executive chairperson of the authority. She was appointed in 2021 for a three-year term, but was sacked from the post earlier this month.

In a statement announcing the termination, Dimech said that she spent her tenure working with “no staff, no budget and a political strategy and decision strategy I disagreed with”.

Leonid McKay has since been appointed executive chair of the authority.