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Malta Issues First Noncommercial Cannabis Club Licenses

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Malta became the third nation on earth, and the first in Europe, to pass a national adult-use legalization measure back in late 2021. Since that time, Luxembourg has also passed a national measure. However, unlike Luxembourg, Malta’s legalization model includes the permitting of noncommercial cannabis clubs. The EU nation recently issued its first licenses for such clubs.

According to domestic reporting, Executive Chairperson Authority for The Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) Leonid McKay announced during a recent press conference that “operational licenses” were issued to two different entities.

The recipients of the noncommercial cannabis licenses are KDD Society and Ta’ Zelli. The entities cannot start distributing cannabis until they receive tested products. All testing will reportedly be handled by Malta’s Authority for The Responsible Use of Cannabis.

It’s not entirely clear when products will officially go on sale, however, it’s speculated that the first legal sales via noncommercial clubs will begin early next spring. Four more entities have received “in-principle licenses” and are continuing to work through the licensing process.

Per our prior reporting, regulations for noncommercial clubs in Malta include (but are not limited to):

  • A maximum of 500 club members
  • Cannot be located within 250 meters of a school or ‘youth center’
  • No advertising
  • Cannot use the word ‘cannabis’ in the club’s name, or anything that would ‘incite use’
  • At least two club founders with no prior convictions of money laundering
  • Clubs must have a legal representative
  • Club administrators have to be residents for at least 5 years
  • All cannabis has to be cultivated by the club itself (out of public view)
  • Registration fee of €1,000
  • License fee starting at €8,750
  • Initial licenses valid for 1 year, with 3 year renewals
  • Labeling requirements
  • Ongoing government auditing
  • Product testing
  • THC percentage caps for consumers 18-20 years old
  • Consumers can only have a membership at 1 club at a time
  • Revenue dispersal requirements