The Malta Enterprise has approved 15 investment projects in research and production of cannabis for medicinal use, the majority of which will start operating by the end of the year. The same number of other applications were however rejected.
Interviewed on Rasimbras programme, Malta Enterprise chief executive Mario Galea replied on security issues linked with this industry and indicated that the project for a regional distribution centre, which the Lidl company wanted to establish in Malta, is temporarily shelved.
15 accepted projects for medicinal cannabis production
The Malta Enterprise rejected half of the applications it received for investments in the production of cannabis for medicinal use, while it accepted 15 projects.
Chief Executive Mario Galea said that the agency is being very attentive in its evaluation and companies need to observe rigorous processes and strict regulations. He stated that three other applications are currently being scrutinized.
Mr Galea added, “the final product has to be exported in a small doze and absolute traceability. One cannot just export a bag of cannabis which was processed without traceability”. He said that Malta wants to be in the forefront in research and production of medicinal cannabis.
“It is not only in the chemistry process to convert the cultivated cannabis here in Malta or abroad and turn it into a final product, but even other sectors, such as research, new seeds made for specific medicine applications, clinical research. These are things we can build an eco-system, with which we can be leaders in the sector”.
Mr Galea believes that the majority of the 15 approved companies will be operating by the end of the year – three of whom will cultivate plants in Malta.
“On is already in the final stage to start operating, there are also two factories in an industrial estate which are being arranged in various parts, so that they can also start. The majority of applications have applied with the Planning Authority to build a factory. That is works in progress”.
Talks still ongoing on Lidl’s regional distribution centre in Malta
Referring to Lidl’s regional distribution centre project being proposed in Malta, Mr Galea said that the size of the proposed project on public land was the major factor that did not help a final agreement.
“Not everything stopped but discussions….we were talking about a piece of land of around half of Ħal Far of almost….a substantial which is not easy; as you have economic returns and giving a piece of land to one operator you increase dependence on him”, Mr Galea said.
Watch the whole interview on Rasimbras programme, which is transmitted from Monday to Friday at 7.30pm on TVM and TVMi.