[WATCH] Medical cannabis will be available from pharmacies

Owen Bonnici says government will increase expenditure on culture by 25% to €43 million in 2015.

Jars of varying strains of medical marijuana at a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver, USA
Jars of varying strains of medical marijuana at a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver, USA
Justice Minister speaks about future availability of medicinal cannabis

Cannabis-based medicine will be available for patients from pharmacies, according to a bill published in parliament earlier this week.

“Specialised doctors will be able to prescribe the extracts of cannabis in medicinal form to patients if they believe that no viable alternative exists,” Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said. “The idea is that people will be able to buy these medicines from pharmacies.”

He also said that specialists will also be able to prescribe the actual cannabis to patients in the “rare” circumstance whereby they’ll need it to alleviate their pain.

“For these cases, patients will need both the specialists’ prescription and the permission of the Health Superintendent, who will also set certain conditions about its sale.”

He was speaking during a visit to Zfin Malta’s facilities that were set up to provide professional jobs for dancers. 700 dancers had applied for jobs in it, out of which only eight were chosen, four of which are Maltese. The dancers are led by internationally acclaimed Malaysian choreographer Mavin Khoo.

“In 2014, the government’s investment in culture reached €30 million, an increase of 13% over the previous year,” Bonnici said. “In 2015, there will be a 25% in funding for culture, bringing the total government investment in culture to €43 million in 2015.”

He also spoke about a new financing programme of €200,000 that is being set up to help export the work of local artists abroad, as announced in Budget 2015. 

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