Alternatives to Zejtun agricultural land being considered for industrial estate expansion – Muscat

The Prime Minister said at least six medicinal cannabis companies have shown concrete interest in setting up in Malta while highlighting challenges in finding land for industry

The government is considering alternatives to agricultural Zejtun land that has been earmarked for the expansion of the Bulebel industrial estate, after public outcry against the proposed development, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning.

Speaking during a brief phone interview on ONE radio, Muscat said that although it was government-owned land, alternatives were being sought, while underscoring the challenge Malta faced in balancing the people’s needs and that of finding more space to house industry.

“We want to understand and listen,” said Muscat. “We appreciate that the land was earmarked for development and was government land, but it is our duty to try and find alternatives and we are doing so.”

The Prime Minister also said that there were currently at least six large companies operating in the medicinal cannabis sector that had shown concrete interest in Malta. Three had already signed letters of intent, while a further three were in advanced talks. Others, he said had approached the government in recent days.

The law currently being debated by parliament, that would regulate the manufacture and exportation of medicinal cannabis products, would employs hundreds, and allow Malta to be at the forefront of the European medicinal cannabis industry.

Muscat said that Malta’s economy had continued to receive positive outlooks, adding that this was not baseless. “It has developed and will continue developing in the coming years.”

Doctors’ decisions should be based on the future

Muscat was also asked about discussions with the Medical Association of Malta (MAM), which said it was not excluding a fresh round of industrial action next week.

He said he was hopeful an agreement could be reached, while stressing the need for goodwill on both sides.

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