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Malta grants first two cannabis association licences



Leonid McKay, executive chair of the Authority for Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) announced the news this week. Photo: ARUC
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Via Cannareporter 

Malta’s chairman of the Authority for Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC), Leonid McKay, has announced that country’s the first two cannabis association licences have been granted. 

The first operational authorisations to cultivate cannabis and act in the context of reducing harm related to adult-use were granted to the associations KDD Society and Ta’ Zelli. 

Malta was the first country in Europe to legalise the adult use of cannabis, in December 2021.

The distribution of cannabis to members can begin as soon as the first products are available, but these must be tested by the ARUC before being sold. 

The first sales are expected to be made in the first quarter of 2024.

At a press conference, McKay also announced that the ARUC will not control the price of cannabis in any way, with this decision being up to each association. 

However, he noted that the price must compete with that of the illicit market to discourage trafficking, something the government will not tolerate.

Four additional associations have been granted initial licences and are close to obtaining a definitive operating licence.

READ MORE: Malta advocates emphasise positive effects of cannabis reform amid ‘normalisation’ concerns

Cannabis will not be available to tourists

MacKay was very clear about possible cannabis tourism in the country, stating that it would not ‘provide a market for tourists’, as associations aim to regulate substance use, rather than promote it.

Associations must have an average of around 250 members, who will have to pay a small fee to join the association and will have to pay for their own cannabis. 

The associations will collect data from their members and in introductory interviews, candidates will be asked about their cannabis use and informed about how they can contribute to the community and their responsibilities as members.

The associations will be non-profit and will have to donate part of their income to raise awareness about drugs, with 5% of their total income going towards ‘harm reduction’ efforts carried out by the ARUC. A further 10% will be allocated to educational initiatives to reduce substance consumption or other sustainable projects.

In addition to now being able to use associations to purchase a limited amount, adult cannabis consumers can also have up to seven grams of cannabis flowers in their possession and grow four plants at home.

This article was originally published by CannaReporter and is reprinted here with permission. 

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