Malta publishes new rules for Cannabis Clubs

Malta has unveiled new regulations governing the establishment of cannabis associations in the country. This development follows the Maltese government’s legalization of adult cannabis use 15 months prior, with the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) beginning to accept registration requests in late February.

The new regulation offers a more accessible membership fee structure, with reduced fees of €1,000 for small associations of up to 50 members. However, larger associations, consisting of 351 to 500 members, are subject to an annual fee of €26,000.

Under the new regulation, associations remain capped at a maximum of 500 members, and Maltese citizens may only join one association at a time.

Associations are also required to allocate 5% of their annual income to a harm reduction fund and 10% of their accumulated income to a community projects fund, both managed by ARUC. Fines of up to €10,000 will be imposed on those found selling cannabis to non-members or minors.

To ensure transparency and accountability, Malta has outlined specific requirements for all cannabis associations, regardless of their size.

These include maintaining detailed records of each cultivation cycle and submitting quarterly reports to ARUC with information on membership numbers, cannabis sales, and cash flow. The law also suggests that ARUC may implement a centralized digital data collection and tracking system.

Associations are obligated to maintain a membership register containing personal data, though no specific privacy or security requirements are detailed.

Additionally, association founders must have resided in Malta for at least five years, and individuals with serious crime or drug-related convictions within the past decade are ineligible to establish or work for an association.

ARUC inspectors will conduct site inspections and audits, with violators facing potential sanctions such as warnings, specific stop orders, fines, or even permit revocation.

Fines for infringements range from €1,000 for administrative lapses, such as failing to submit a quarterly report or maintain an adequate member list, to €10,000 for more severe infractions, such as selling improperly labeled or packaged cannabis.

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