HomeShoppingCannabis associations eye first quarter of 2024 for opening their doors

Cannabis associations eye first quarter of 2024 for opening their doors

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Cannabis associations could be up and running by the end of March 2024, sources familiar with the matter have told MaltaToday. 

In June, it was revealed that 26 groups had applied for cannabis association licences from the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis, (ARUC) but no timeframe was yet given. 

MaltaToday is informed that the biggest hurdle surrounding the licence approval involved receiving the green light from banks in order to take out loans to be able to operate, however, sources say that this issue has been resolved. 

Regarding the applicants themselves, this newspaper is also informed that ARUC had received applications for all five types of associations, characterised by their number of members. Although many potential candidates who were in contact with the Authority have said they would apply for the lower categories, the early applications have shown a preference for the higher member categories.  

 

What are the rules for opening a ‘cannabis harm reduction club’? 

Each club is required to have two founding members as well as a list of administrators who have lived in Malta for at least five years. Along with those in charge of security and distribution, the club will also hire a quality controller. 

Any specified administrators cannot have a history of money laundering, terrorism funding, or bankruptcy in court. 

Following their initial year of use, licences can be renewed for an additional three years. The application price will vary according to the membership size, and the licence charge will be fixed at €1,000. There is a maximum of 500 members per club. 

Each club will be required to contribute a portion of each euro they make to a harm reduction fund. From seed to sale, clubs will be responsible for growing their product. Clubs will be permitted to buy seeds from other countries, but only from those in the EU and other recognised regions.  

The club itself can set up shop anywhere in Malta but cannot be situated close to a school or youth centre. The shop must have proper ventilation and CCTV on site. It also cannot be seen to promote cannabis use in its signage or shop name. 

Each club must also file their audited financial accounts with ARUC. Clubs will not be able to advertise their services and will be obliged to focus on harm reduction before all other interests. People working in these clubs will also be given harm reduction training by ARUC. 

Cannabis clubs will not be allowed to sell alcohol, and cannabis can only be sold in bud form. Anyone above 18 years will be able to become a member of a club but cannot be a member of multiple clubs. 

Any club found to be in breach of regulations could have its licence revoked and cannabis confiscated. 

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