Malta To Relax Home Grown Cannabis Laws In 2020

CBD comes from the cannabis plant which can be grown for multiple reasons. Here at we believe in the power of CBD for pain relief purposes.

The law in Malta currently allows cannabis to be grown for personal use, if only one plant is being cultivated. Any more than one plant leaves the owner liable for prosecution, if caught, and a minimum prison sentence of six months, if convicted. The thinking is that more than one plant could be grown to be sold, but one plant really is a small and personal amount. To put that another way, the law allows for a certain amount of personal use, but wants to prevent and restrict the drug trade wherever it can.

Today, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici announced that in January a new law will be tabled before the Maltese parliament with the goal of reducing that minimum prison sentence in January 2020. It seems that the government has realised that public sentiment is more lenient on personal use of marijuana than a law that permits the growing of one plant. There was a public outcry earlier in 2019 when a Maltese woman was fined and sentenced to six months in prison for growing six small plants in the same pot.

It would seem that this is another small, but important, step in gradually moving cannabis, medical cannabis and CBD into a more legally tolerated status in Malta.

The press conference and Justice Minister Bonnici’s proposal is reported on here and here.

To read more about the legal situation of CBD in Malta please click here.

The Maltese Government Is Committed To The Medical Cannabis Sector

Earlier today, Malta’s Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Dr Chris Fearne, spoke at the first Medical Cannabis Summit in Malta.

In a very positive presentation, Dr Fearne outlined the evolution of legislation in Malta for medical cannabis, which is only a few years old, and then explained what he felt were the main challenges the sector faced. He suggested three main challenges to be overcome:

Firstly, he believes that patient expectation is very out of line with the current reality. He explained that he has had his own patients call him and ask to be given medical cannabis to “cure cancer”, which there is no current evidence of it doing. His actual words were, “they are expecting miracles”, which just shows how few people currently have good information about the potential health benefits of medical cannabis and CBD – there are many, but it is not currently a cure for cancer.

Included in this area is patient safety. The idea that patients can be more involved in understanding their condition appeals to everyone, but if the result of that is that people are demanding to use treatments that are not proven to work, the possibility of causing harm – even accidentally – rises substantially.

Secondly, he believes that there is a significant lack of knowledge and trust currently amongst Drs. As Dr Fearne explained, Drs have been trained to look at evidence and make decisions based on rigorous trials. As cannabis has existed outside of mainstream society for so long, there are currently very few completed trials that prove the efficacy of CBD or medical cannabis. He wants that to change, which of course requires much more research to be completed. With that evidence, many more Drs can be educated that there may be pain relief alternatives to opioids available for many people.

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Malta To Relax Home Grown Cannabis Laws In 2020

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Thirdly, he explained that the government is very worried about the numbers of fake or counterfeit products being sold online. These products are able to make amazing claims of wonderful results, but few are backed up by science and testing. He believes that the sector needs laws and regulations in Malta and that those regulations need to be enforced. This is, once again, about patient safety.

All in all, Dr Fearne was very positive about the potential for the sector in Malta and that the government is committed to seeing it grow. The Maltese government is committed to legislation, regulation and enforcement. However, he warned that the medical industry will need to play it’s part if these opportunities are to be realised.