Cannabis News Around The World: Banking Solutions For Malta Weed Clubs, Netherlands’ Pot Sales Experiment, MMJ Decriminalization In Philippines, And More

March 1, 2023 · Benzinga

Malta Government Helps Nonprofit Cannabis Clubs Access Banking Services

new measure in Malta will allow cannabis users to buy their weed at nonprofit cannabis clubs.

The Minister for Reform Rebecca Buttigieg, and the Authority for Responsible Consumption of Cannabis Leonid McKay, highlighted it was the first legal framework of its kind in Europe and noted it was a “pioneering” legal measure, while those seeking to apply for a license could do it through Malta’s Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC), starting on Feb. 28.

According to Malta Today, the nation’s Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security was negotiating with an unnamed “main bank” to offer banking services to nonprofit cannabis associations.

Dubbed “Cannabis Harm Reduction Associations,” the new enterprises must be registered with ARUC to obtain a license.

Malta became the first country in Europe to legalize the cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use in 2021.

Cannabis Sales To Go Legit In Netherlands Under Government-Backed Pilot Program

Starting mid-May, smoking weed in Amsterdam’s world-famous red light district will no longer be legal. However, Netherland’s officials intend to kick off a pilot program by the end of 2023 under which cannabis sale would be permitted, even though its cultivation is still considered illegal nationwide, reported NL Times.

Last week, the Ministries of Public Health and Justice said it would launch the experiment in the previous quarter of this year, in the period between October and December 2023, in the municipalities of Tilburg and Breda.

“Together with Minister [of Justice] Yesilgoz-Zegerius, I am committed to making the cannabis experiment successful. I also sense enthusiasm among all participants and am therefore pleased that we can take a first smaller step here even before the official start of the experiment,” Ernst Kuipers, Netherland’s Health Minister, said in a press statement.

Philippine Lawmakers Consider Decriminalizing Marijuana Use

Philippine lawmakers are reviewing a bill to decriminalize the production, sale, and use of cannabis, reported The Chronic Magazine.

Proposed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the bill has support from the Dangerous Drugs Committee, led by Robert Ace Barbers, while the lower chamber is in the process of setting up a Technical Working Group with the Health committee expected to further work on the initiative.

“The classification of cannabis and its derivatives as a dangerous drug is bullsh*t,” Alvarez said. “It makes no sense at all. And we must correct this absurdity.”

In addition, Kalinga Gov. James Edduba is also supporting the immediate approval of the medicinal cannabis measure pending in both chambers of Congress.

Vanuatu Confirms Cannabis Regulations: What Businesses Need to Know

The Vanuatu government greenlighted the regulatory framework for the legal cultivation of medical marijuana and industrial hemp for export, reported ABC.

The changes to the law were signed into law in 2021 after the government passed the Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Act, only to get confirmed and enacted recently.

Under the law, businesses seeking to cultivate cannabis will need to have 10 years of experience and purchase a 10-year license for approximately $83.000, which is renewable annually.

“The duration of a license is 10 years. The scenario would be that after 10 years of working with a foreign investor, any Vanuatuan would be in a position to engage in that activity,” Moses Amos, the chairman of parliament’s Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Advisory Committee, said. (Full Story)

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