History of CBD and Cannabis In: Malta
Throughout the world, cannabis legalization has spread rapidly over the past fifteen years. This has occurred for many reasons, including a strikingly rapid change of public opinion when it comes to cannabis, as well as a rise of scientific awareness about the benefits that cannabis can bring to sick people. At the same time, governments across the world have realized that jailing people caught with minor amounts of marijuana is a poor use of taxpayer dollars, and as such, have moved to decriminalize the substance.
In the vast majority of countries, marijuana has not been legalized. Instead, many countries have either moved to lessen criminal penalties while also legalizing medical marijuana. Such is the case in Malta, a small island nation located in the Mediterranean. Malta has partially decriminalized marijuana and also legalized medical marijuana.
History of Cannabis in Malta
As an island nation, Malta does not have an extensive cannabis history. It is a relatively small country with a population of just under half a million people. Their number of drug arrests – 739 in 2017 – is very low. 623 of those arrests were for use, while the remaining 116 were for supply.
With the upcoming legal changes to Malta’s marijuana laws, it is clear that the country is moving away from its prohibition and looking to invest in the drug. For example, five companies (all foreign) have been given permission to produce medical marijuana in Malta, a project which is expected to create 185 jobs and €30 million in foreign investment.
Current Legal Status of Cannabis & CBD in Malta
The past few years have seen major changes to Malta’s marijuana laws. First, in 2015, the country began to take steps towards legalizing medical marijuana when it legalized Sativex, a cannabis based drug which is used to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. However, two years after the drug was legalized, no one in the country had yet been prescribed it.
Malta went further in March 2019, when it fully legalized medical marijuana. In order to access marijuana, patients had to obtain a control card from Malta’s Superintendent of Public Health. From there, patients could have doctors prescribe cannabis for one of three conditions: Multiple Sclerosis, Chemotherapy and Chronic Pain. Some advocates were upset that the bill did not allow for home growing of cannabis.
In 2015, marijuana was partially decriminalized in the country. First-time offenders who are caught with less than 3.5 grams of marijuana will be arrested and subjected to a small fine. Repeat offenders will be forced to appear in front of a Rehabilitation Board, and will be arrested for violating the terms of rehabilitation set by the board.
CBD is legal for purchase in the country.