As of March 2018, Malta legalised the production of cannabis for medicinal and research purposes through the Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Research Purposes Act.
The Maltese government sees the production of Medical Cannabis as a progression within its life sciences sector, which already includes the production of pharmaceuticals, active ingredients, medical devices, testing and batch release operations, research and clinical work, dossier building and so much more.
Since the enactment of the law, Malta Enterprise has received 50 project applications and 24 of them have been granted a Letter of Intent outlining an in principle approval of the project.
Medical Cannabis is seen as an opportunity for Malta to attract investment and boost its economy through job creation and taxation. Once operational, these projects are expected to create over 700 new full-time jobs and supplement Malta’s exports by over €900M by 2022, mainly to European Union markets.
Malta has been successful in executing its mandate through two key government entities working together. The Malta Enterprise is the agency focused on attracting foreign investment and providing potential partners with any necessary guidance and support. On the other hand, the Malta Medicine Authority assists companies applying for the pharmaceutical standard of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to cannabis-based treatments.
All Medical Cannabis products must meet the stringent European GMP certification standard, which represent the highest levels of standards and traceability. Furthermore, Malta’s regulator for the Medical Cannabis sector is the Medicines Authority which is recognised by both EMA and FDA. Both these factors should enhance Malta’s appeal as a jurisdiction to invest in.