Malta Legalises Medical Cannabis

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Earlier this week it was announced that the Government in Malta will recognize the efficacy of cannabis for a number of severe medical conditions, and will move towards a medical cannabis system in the country.

The amendments to Malta’s Drug Dependence Act (Treatment not Imprisonment) were enacted on the 26 March by Maltese parliament after its third and final reading.

While some are still concerned that the current recognised conditions are not wide enough, this move will see access for medical patients using cannabis to treat conditions like chronic pain, spasticity in multiple sclerosis and side effects of chemotherapy, who will have access to cannabis-based medicine but will not be allowed to smoke it.

ReLeaf, a Maltese pro-legalisation group said “One issue with the bill is the restricted list of eligible conditions,” – this is because glaucoma, epilepsy and nausea will still not be recognised by the Maltese government.

While some may argue that this doesn’t go far enough, like all moves towards cannabis legalisation it is a step in the right direction and highlights a different and much more sensible approach than the Maltese government had previously adopted, including a case of jailing Christopher Bartolo, a 37-year-old Maltese kidney transplant patient, who was caught with 167 grams of cannabis which he was using to treat his condition. 

The Government also said that the country’s economic development agency has approved five new projects relating to the production of medical cannabis with a capital investment of €30 million.

We will see how Medical cannabis progresses in Malta, and hope it means access for all those who need cannabis-based medicine!

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