Since laying the rules on the production of medicinal marijuana, Malta Enterprise received 46 project applications, of which, 20 projects have been approved and issued with a Letter of Intent, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Cannabis Europa conference in London, Muscat said it is estimated that the approved projects are to invest over €110 million into capital expenditure.
Once operational these projects are expected to create over 700 new full-time jobs and supplement Malta’s exports by over €900M by 2022 mainly to European Union markets.
The Government is informed that a number of companies are projecting to start exporting medical cannabis from Malta to Europe as early as Quarter 1 of 2020, Muscat said.
“As a matter of fact, while we have accepted 20 projects, we have refused another 19 proposals. This shows that we will only pick the best, most innovative and reputable.”
MGC Pharma, Supreme, Aurora, Aphria, Columbia Care, MPXI, Wayland, Alvit and Panaxia are amongst the renowned names which have already received Malta Enterprise’s approval and Letter of Intent, the PM continued.
“All the applications which were submitted, have gone through a minute evaluation process and a very thorough due diligence exercise, in order to ensure that only those applications which met our criteria and shared our vision were eventually approved. We do not say yes to everyone that knocks the door. So those of you who make it through our system know that you are working in an environment which will include only the industry’s elite.”
“These companies will provide the foundations over which we will build our ecosystem for this sector. Presently, our priority lies in starting operations and exporting the first products out of Malta. At the next level, we want Malta to be a research centre for medical cannabis, and to this effect we want to see research into product development, new therapeutic strains, new product formulations, and clinical research to happen in Malta,” the PM said.