Former Caritas Director Leonid McKay will head the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis as Executive Chairperson, shortly after Mariella Dimech’s dismissal from the position.

In an announcement on Friday morning, the Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality stated that the cannabis authority, which was set up 10 months ago, will be led by Mr McKay, who will leave his post as CEO at the Housing Authority to take on the new role.

Mariella Dimech

Former Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis Chairperson Mariella Dimech

While Ms Dimech was appointed as the authority’s first Executive Chairperson in January, little tangible progress took place since then, and no licences have been issued yet for cannabis associations. Following this, her job was terminated and the Ministry made no comments about her departure in the announcement, other than thanking her “for her work over the past months”.

The cannabis authority was set up to regulate the use of the drug after it was legalised almost a year ago, with this including the establishment of regulatory associations and also having an important role in education about cannabis. The introduction of the new law regulating cannabis brought about significant changes, particularly allowing a person to grow up to four plants at home and no longer be arrested for the personal use of up to seven grams of the drug.

Mr McKay has a wide range of experience in leading public authorities, having worked in the social sector for a number of years. He is a Master of Arts in Social Policy graduate from University of Malta, and worked in different roles at Caritas Malta before he was named Director in 2014.

He was named CEO at the Housing Authority in 2018, where he worked to strengthen the services provided, while also overseeing the implementation of new rent laws.

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New Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis Executive Chairperson Leonid McKay

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Fabrizio Tabone

Fabrizio has a passion for the economy and technology, especially when it comes to innovation. Aside from this, he also has a passion for football and movies, and so you will often find him either with a ball to his feet or at the cinema checking out the latest releases.