The Medicines Authority has approved the first licence for the production of medicinal cannabis to the Canadian company Aphria, a global leader in the sector.
Products manufactured, packaged and tested by Aphria locally will take the form of dried flowers, whereas the cultivation of such flowers will take place in Canada.
In a statement released by the ministry for energy, enterprise and sustainable development, this latest development was described as an “important milestone” for the medical cannabis sector in Malta which can begin to export products of the highest quality.
The Ministry said that this foreign investment in Malta was possible through rigorous efforts undertaken by the Medicines Authority and Malta Enterprise which together assured all necessary due diligence.
It was stressed that the due diligence process is so rigorous, local authorities not only inspect the facilities of the Aphria’s local operations, but inspections are also carried out in Canada where the prime crop is exported to Malta.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of the Consumer and Public Cleansing Deo Debattista said this licensing process took around two years and involved the specialised input of the Medicines Authority.
Enterprise Minister Miriam Dalli welcomed this news and remarked that this specialised niche will lead to economic activity, adding that the Government is assessing the project from two fronts – economic and foreign direct investment leading to more jobs and secondly, ensuring products manufactured in Malta are of the highest quality so that Malta becomes a leader in this area.
The Ministry said that the Medicines Authority is overseeing the licensing process for several companies which are at evaluation stage for the local production of cannabis for medical purposes.
In 2018, Malta took steps to legalise medical cannabis production in Malta.
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No timeframe was given as to when new stock will be supplied to other outlets