THE Maltese approach to cannabis is set to see its total value of exports increase by 30%.
Malta decriminalised cannabis in 2013, and legalised medical cannabis in March, 2018 and has since made significant strides in becoming a leading player in the emerging European market.
In an interview with Health Europa in 2019 Marion Zammit of Malta Enterprise confirmed over 20 projects had been approved.
She said these included Canadian, Australian and US companies. In June, last year Aphria’s Malta subsidiary, ASG Pharma, received an import license from The Malta Medicines Authority.
Malta Enterprise has granted Canadian firm Aurora approval for a seed-to-pharma operation in partnership with local firm Cherubino.
Australian firm MGC Pharmaceuticals signed a deal with the Maltese government which will see it create an € 11m medical cannabis manufacturing plant.
Whilst Toronto firms MPXI and Supreme and US firm Columbia Care, are also amongst the 20 approved projects.
Ms Zammit went on to say that once all approved projects are in operational it ‘will supplement exports by an additional 30%’, adding: “We are creating a new sub-niche in the manufacturing sector and this in turn will make our economy more robust.”
Malta, a small Mediterranean island with a population of less than half a million, has a strong advanced manufacturing and pharmaceutical base.
It promotes itself as being in an ‘ideal geographic location capable of bridging continents’, with English being the language of choice for business.
MGC Pharmaceuticals founder and director Nativ Segev said its move allows it to be a ‘part of Malta’s drive to become a beacon in Europe for the growth and development of this industry’.
Economy Minister Chris Cardona said that as the first country in the EU to provide a regulatory framework for medical cannabis ‘it has been able to attract the best investment to our country, with the sector already contributing to economic growth’.