Malta's Groundbreaking Approach to Cannabis Legalization: Non-Commercial Clubs Lead the Way
In 2021, Malta made history by becoming the first European country to legalize cannabis for adult use, joining Uruguay and Canada as the third nation globally to adopt such a measure. However, Malta's approach differs significantly, focusing on non-commercial cannabis clubs instead of dispensaries or pharmacy sales, which remain banned.
In October, saw Malta issue its initial licenses for these non-commercial clubs, with a recent addition this month, bringing three more organizations into the fold, according to Cannabis Health News:
The CURA in Malta has granted licenses to three additional Cannabis Harm Reduction Associations (CHRAs), increasing the number of authorized clubs to five. The newly licensed clubs, Sprawt, Northern Lights, and NEGE, join the previously approved KDD Society and Ta’ Zelli.
Malta's regulations specify that only CURA-listed associations can grow and supply cannabis to their members. Membership is exclusive to Maltese residents over 18, who must provide a valid ID for age and residency verification.
The European Union's stance restricts member countries from legalizing commercial adult-use cannabis sales, allowing only medical or research-oriented policy advancements. This limitation led Malta to establish non-commercial cannabis clubs aimed at minimizing health risks from unregulated consumption.
While some European countries are exploring adult-use cannabis through limited local pilot projects for research purposes, Malta currently has no plans to initiate such experiments. These pilot programs are the only commercial activities the European Union allows, given their research orientation.
Source: International CBC