While the cannabis industry is getting broad support from the government of Malta, the business application process still awaits guidelines from a key government agency.
Several companies have obtained letters of intent (LOI) from Malta Enterprise – the first step in applying for permits – but no company has yet been fully licensed to cultivate or manufacture marijuana for commercial purposes in the Mediterranean island nation.
Guidelines about fees and the application process are expected to be published soon, Luana Mifsud Buhagiar, director of advanced scientific initiatives at the Malta Medicines Authority, told Marijuana Business Daily.
Buhagiar was among a number of high-level Maltese officials who spoke at this week’s Medical Cannabis World Forum in Valletta, including the prime minister and the minister of the economy.
Once guidelines are available, companies with an LOI from Malta Enterprise will be able to apply for a license with the Medicines Authority.
While it is expected that companies that already have the document will be able to obtain a license, “getting a letter of intent from Malta Enterprise isn’t the same as being granted a license from Malta Medicines Authority,” Buhagiar said.
“Before producing anything for commercial purposes, they would need to go through a rigorous application process, have their facilities running, validate their methods and get EU-GMP certification from the Medicines Authority.”
While domestic production is on hold, the Medicines Authority confirmed that two companies are importing products from cannabis flower.:
- Bedrocan Netherlands is licensed to import one product.
- Pedanios Gmbh, a German company owned by Canada’s Aurora Cannabis, has been approved to import two products.
At least half a dozen other importation applications are awaiting approval, including some for oils.
Alfredo Pascual can be reached at email@example.com