Three more cannabis association licences issued in recent weeks

The Authority for the Use of Responsible Cannabis organised the first harm reduction training for licensed and in-principle associations

Three more licenses to Cannabis Harm Reduction Associations were issued over the last few weeks, bringing them to a total of five.

The licensees are listed on the website of the Authority for the Use of Responsible Cannabis.

In a statement, the Authority told prospective members that only associations listed on its website may cultivate and distribute cannabis to their members.

Membership is limited to residents of Malta aged 18 and over, and a copy of the ID card must be provided to the association as proof of both requirements.

Meanwhile, on the 28th and 29th of November, the Authority organised the first harm reduction training for licensed and in-principle Cannabis Harm Reduction Associations (CHRAs).

The training included the participation of keynote speakers and provided participants with a comprehensive overview of harm reduction practices, and of the role of CHRAs in promoting the responsible use of cannabis.

The two-day program also delved into key matters related to the operational and day-to-day running of an association and the role of data gathering for research purposes.

The keynote speakers addressed the historical and core operational aspects of a harm and risk reduction approach and highlighted the intricate relationship between public health and the regulation of cannabis for non-medical use.

Furthermore, speakers underlined the importance of recognising that different social groups of cannabis users require different tools and attention.

The interdependent relationship between sustaining a not-for-profit basis and a harm reduction approach brought to the attention of participants the importance of prioritising a public health approach as opposed to a profitdriven one based on the maximisation of sales. Drawing experiences from Belgium, Spain, the USA and Uruguay, speakers emphasised the core foundational elements of preserving and promoting the ‘social’ aspect of CHRAs, particularly acting as a protective factor against risks associated with cannabis use.

Leonid McKay, Chairperson of ARUC highlighted that the coming months will be decisive to further ensure that CHRAs fulfil their role as active agents for positive change. He explained that this training program will be followed by a more advanced program in 2024. McKay welcomed the CHRAs commitment to advance a harm and risk reduction approach and to aid ARUC to develop evidence-based research protocols and educational campaigns on the responsible use of cannabis.