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Malta’s cannabis club model to launch end of February – what you need to know

The Maltese Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) has announced the criteria for opening a cannabis club.



Malta legalised cannabis for adult use in December 2021.

Authorities in Malta have announced the details of its cannabis social club model, which is due to launch at the end of the month. Here’s everything you need to know.

After an initial delay following the landmark legalisation of adult-use cannabis in 2021, the Maltese Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) has finally communicated the criteria for opening a cannabis club in the country. The application process is expected to be open from Tuesday 28 February, 2023.

Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms and Equality, Rebecca Buttigieg, and head of the ARUC, Leonid McKay, have stressed that this is the first legal framework of its type in Europe, noting its ‘pioneering ‘ approach.

Here’s everything you need to know about what Maltese cannabis clubs will look like.

What are the requirements for opening a cannabis club in Malta?

You will have to pay at least €1,000 to apply for the opening of a cannabis club in Malta.

Approval will be based on a dossier and an interview. Any license granted will be valid for one year. Each organisation needs two founders, who do not need to be of Maltese nationality. Club directors must, however, have been Maltese residents for at least five years.

Each club will be responsible for the entire cannabis supply chain, from seed to sale. Clubs will be required to grow their own cannabis and may not purchase it from a third party or another club.

Each club must already have a space to grow, either indoor or outdoor, which is not visible to the public. Grow sites will need to meet certain criteria, such as having a dedicated CCTV system and a ventilation system.

Seeds will be obtainable in the European Union as well as other approved jurisdictions. There will be no limit to the number of seeds that can be purchased.

All clubs must be located at least 250 metres away from schools and youth centres, but can be set up in residential areas.

The advertising of cannabis will not be permitted and club names that include any form of promotional term – for example Happy Cannabis Smoke Malta – may be rejected for promotional reasons.

What do consumers need to know?

There will be no price cap and no THC cap, however clubs should strive to sell their cannabis at a lower price than the black market, according to the guidelines.

There will be no pre-rolled joints for sale, but clubs will be able to sell cannabis-related equipment such as grinders and may serve drinks, but not alcohol.

Each club may have to 500g of cannabis on its premises at any one time. Cannabis quantity caps will be determined by the number of members each club has, with the cap increasing as the number of members goes up to a maximum of 500 members.

An individual can only be a member of one club at any one time. Initially only Maltese residents will be able to access the clubs, with the status of tourist access still to be discussed.

A percentage of the registration fee will be dedicated to risk reduction and a tax will be paid on the profits made. Discussions are still ongoing with the VAT Commissioner as to whether VAT will be applied to cannabis.

Anyone found to be in breach of the rules will be warned by letter before action is taken to suspend or revoke the club license and confiscate the goods.

This article originally appeared on Newsweed and is reprinted here with permission. 

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Aurélien created Newsweed, the French leading cannabis media, in 2015. Particularly interested in international regulations and the different cannabis markets, he also has an extensive knowledge of the plant and its uses.


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