The Malta Independent 19 July 2018, Thursday

Updated: Parliament approves medicinal cannabis production bill, PN votes against

Rebecca Iversen Monday, 16 April 2018, 20:10 Last update: about 3 months ago

Parliament this evening passed a law that legalises the production of medicinal cannabis, with the Nationalist Opposition voting against.

PN MP Claudio Grech explained that the Opposition was voting against the law due to the fact that government had not given assurances that cultivation would be carried out on an industrial scale.

Another reason why the Opposition was voting against was the fact that the government had started sending Letters of Intent to operators even before Parliament had voted on the law.

ADVERTISEMENT

On the other hand, the Partit DemokratikU MPs voted in favour. PD had spoken in favour of this bill "since the procedures to be followed will keep to the strictest international standards to produce GMP.  Furthermore, seeing that serious and established international operators will be involved and that such opportunities present a healthy diversification of the economy with a positive contribution to Malta’s GDP," MP Godfrey Farrugia said.

Last week the government had failed to explain how an Australian company had been given a contract to develop a 4,000 square metre facility for the cultivation and production of medical cannabis in the south of Malta, before the law had been passed.

According to Malta’s legislative system, a Bill becomes law only after MPs approve it at third reading in Parliament; it is signed by the President and is published in the Government Gazette.

The government yesterday issued a statement in response to a report in the Times of Malta, which said farmers were being asked to sell land to grow cannabis.

The Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses stated; “the legislation and policy for production of cannabis for medical use provides that production and any related cultivation for designated purposes and parameters can only be carried out in designated and secured industrial areas and under GMP conditions. No production or cultivation of cannabis will be licensed or permitted outside designated industrial areas.”

“Without entering into the veracity of the report, the Ministry unequivocally states that any reported “buyers” approaching farmers to sell their agricultural land on the pretence of it being used for the cultivation of cannabis are being deceptive or misguided, as no other scenarios for cultivation except the ones outlined previously will be permitted, as per legislation.”

  • don't miss