There are roughly 400 000 adult and medical cannabis consumers on the Mediterranean archipelago. These consumers have been left frustrated in their search for cannabis as Malta is in the middle of one of the driest seasons they have experienced. Unfortunately for consumers on the archipelago, Malta has run out of weed!
“So much for [Malta being] the medical hub of Europe,” said president Andrew Bonello of community-based pressure group Releaf Malta. He continues, noting that “One of the medicinal cannabis brands, Pedanios, has been out of stock for around a month and Bedrocan, the only other alternative, has been out of stock for two or three weeks.”, further highlighting the lack of legal weed in the country.
Medical cannabis consumers are becoming desperate in their attempts to obtain their medicine. “People are livid,” Bonello explained. “So many people have contacted us, we cannot keep up.”
This has further pushed these legal cannabis patients to get their hands on cannabis the old fashioned way. However, they’re having little luck in this department too as many neighbourhood dealers have been out of stock for weeks now.
This isn’t the first weed shortage Malta has faced. In 2018, the republic also ran out of all medicinal cannabis. However, at this time the illegal market still had an abundance of cannabis – making the current shortage that much more painful.
The ongoing drought being experienced is also pushing politics. Politicians such as MEP Alex Agius Saliba, a cannabis advocate, are opening talks about an improved legal system around cannabis, allowing for more secure distribution to ensure longevity and to ensure that no patients go without their medicine.
Medical cannabis became legal in Malta in 2018. Unfortunately, things haven’t been that smooth since it’s legalisation. Issues aren’t just limited to supply, but product selection lacks diversity, products come from a limited number of legal sources, and legal medicinal cannabis costs are high.
“Many people just want to be able to grow their own cannabis as they just cannot afford the exorbitant prices,” Bonello says. “How can a cancer patient afford €960 a month when they can’t even work?
Allowing people to grow their own cannabis would surely take some weight off the shoulders of cannabis providers while allowing locals to grow their own medicine. Now that Malta has run out of weed, it might push for better planning locally and other legal cannabis landscapes can learn from these mistakes.