Malta’s enlightened approach to cannabis has set it on course for a cannabis boom which could increase the total value of its exports by 30%.
Australian firm MGC Pharmaceuticals is the latest company to sign a deal with the government in Malta which will see it create an 11 million Euro medical cannabis manufacturing plant. The company says it also plans to use its Maltese base for research and development and it will act as a gateway to European and international markets.
20 Projects Approved
Malta decriminalized cannabis in 2013, and legalized 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 Marion Zammit of Malta Enterprise confirmed that 20 projects had been approved by Malta Enterprise up to the end of May this year.
She went on to say these included Canadian, Australian and U.S. 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.
Massive Boost To Exports
Whilst Toronto firms MPXI and Supreme and U.S. 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 which fits well with the cannabis industry. It promotes itself as being in an ‘ideal geographic location capable of bridging continents’, with English being the language of choice for business.
A European Cannabis Beacon
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 the investment was only possible thanks to the recently enacted legislation which allows for cannabis to be produced for medical and research purposes.
“Having been the first country in the E.U. to provide a regulatory framework, we have been able to attract the best investment to our country, with the sector already contributing to economic growth,” he said.
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