Malta’s Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) has updated its pioneering regulatory framework for adult-use cannabis following widespread criticism from stakeholders.
In a press conference in mid-May, Malta’s Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms, Rebecca Buttigieg, and the head of ARUC, Leonid McKay, laid out the new set of ‘fine-tuned’ rules, which sought to address a number of issues as part of an ongoing ‘stakeholder consultation process’.
The pair also revealed that seven applications by would-be cannabis associations have now been submitted, while 11 names for associations have now been reserved, suggesting more applications are on the way.
While stakeholders have praised ARUC for remaining flexible and taking feedback onboard on some issues, they argue that many ‘grassroots community members and legacy growers are still finding it next to impossible’ to set up associations.
Following the press briefing on Thursday, May 18, ARUC published its updated regulatory framework on May 23.
In April, Business of Cannabis reported that many local stakeholders were complaining that ARUC had ‘shot themselves in the foot’, and that the current ‘barriers to entry were too high’.
A key concern among prospective Cannabis Harm Reduction Association (CHRA) owners was the format of the application process, which stipulated that all documents must be submitted at once with the application.
This meant that applicants were required to secure a prospective hold over their chosen property for the duration of the application process in order to be able to provide the correct paperwork.