Medicinal cannabis industry expected to grow to €1 billion over three years – the PM
A world forum on medicinal cannabis is currently taking place in Malta between today and Thursday and was this evening addressed by the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat who gave indications of what is expected from the new industry, including the exportation of this product in the coming year.
The PM said this new industry in Malta is expected to grow in value to one billion euro over a three-year period. Those attending the forum are among major operators in the field of medicinal cannabis.
Dr Muscat said this is a niche in which the Government sees great potential and investors are responding strongly to the Government’s work. So far 50 companies have registered their interest in operating in Malta and he explained that Malta Enterprise has so far approved 24 companies. The Prime Minister said this shows that Malta want to interest the best in this industry which in the coming year will be making its first exports.
The Minister for the Economy, Chris Cardona, said that Malta is an ideal locality for this industry’s investment for many reasons, including Malta’s size that helped the country to react and adapt to the industry’s requirements and the market’s requirements. Asked by TVM about the public’s perception of the industry, the Minister stated this perception is changing because of clinical research that shows the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
Minister Cardona said perceptions are changing because of scientists and researchers and clinical tests on patients, particular those with terminal ailments. He said opinions are changing to more humane because science is providing medical solutions and so why should these not be taken up and why should focus not be placed on their development?
Dr Cardona announced legal amendment will take place so that the manufacture of medical cannabis products will also cover animals. He said there is greater animal welfare awareness than previously and therefore greater focus has to be made on this aspect in the development in this type of medicine that may heal also animals.
The Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista maintained the need of further research in this sphere to help the medical cannabis industry to continue its growth.