By / August 21, 2023

Malta Issues 2 First Licenses to Cannabis Clubs

The Office for Responsible Cannabis Use (AOUK) in Malta has officially confirmed the granting of two initial licenses for future associations engaged in cannabis cultivation.

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Licensing and Construction Permissions in Malta

The granted licenses allow the associations to start construction of cultivation facilities, but do not permit the actual cultivation of the plants in Malta.

Only after obtaining official permission to operate in Malta, which will be granted after further inspections by AOUK, will the associations be able to commence cultivation – as emphasized by the CEO of AOUK, Leonid McKay.

Details on Business Model Approval

“The preliminary license approves the proposed business model. Full consent to operate will be issued once the associations have completed all preparations, and the office confirms their compliance with regulations,” said McKay.

Association Verification Process in Malta

Two associations have already received licenses in Malta, and others are “currently in the final phase of verification and authorization”.

For those associations that have received a preliminary license, the next step will be the issuance of a registration number, granting them “legal personality”.

Operational Regulations and Membership

This news came five months after the official announcement of amended penalties, membership regulations, and documentation requirements for associations related to cannabis, following the initial announcement in Malta last January.

According to the rules announced in March, cannabis clubs in Malta will have to keep a register containing members’ personal data and must operate “non-profit”, compensating their administrators according to market rates established by the Charity Organizations Act.

Penalties and Fees in Malta

For non-compliance with the regulations, penalties are provided – including fines of up to 10,000 € for selling to minors or non-members of the association. At the same time, registration fees in Malta have been significantly reduced from an initially announced minimum fee of 8,750 € annually to only 1,000 € annually for small associations with up to 50 members.

Associations with 351 to 500 members will pay an annual fee of 26,000 €.

The official information empowers AOUK inspectors in Malta to conduct on-site inspections and audits. Associations that violate the rules can expect various sanctions, ranging from warnings to the revocation of licenses.

(Featured image by Jeff W via Unsplash)

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