Materia Malta has become the first company to export medical cannabis from Malta for sale in another country, completing the first commercial export of medical cannabis to Germany, a statement from Malta Enterprise (ME) revealed on Monday.
Materia is the leading producer and distributor of medical cannabis in Europe, and its distribution subsidiary, Materia Deutschland GmbH, the recipient of the shipment, has commenced sales to pharmacies.
A number of pre-orders from pharmacies have already been received, with Germany being Europe’s largest medical cannabis market.
“We believe Malta will play an important role in the global cannabis supply chain, as it has done within the broader pharmaceuticals sector for decades,” Materia’s Managing Director of Europe Nick Pateras said.
“We are proud to be the company establishing new frontiers for Malta’s and Europe’s cannabis industry,” he added.
ME has been crucial in the establishment and driving of this new economic niche, and ME CEO Kurt Farrugia welcomed the news of this shipment.
“This is a veritable milestone which places Malta on the map within a sophisticated global supply chain,” Mr Farrugia commented.
“We have worked tirelessly to attain this result – a moment which will in turn push us to other frontiers within the medical cannabis field,” he continued.
Since the enactment of the legislation allowing the production of medical cannabis products for research and medical purposes in 2018, Materia along with a number of other operators, have established Malta as their home.
The Malta Medicines Authority (MMA) issued Materia’s licence to produce cannabis in September, with this being the final requirement needed to commence production.
ZenPharm, ASG Pharma, Panaxia Pharmaceutical and MPXI have all also obtained their licences for the start of their operations in Malta.
ME has been driving this economic niche forward by supporting the Government in passing the legislation and through facilitation in collaboration with other government entities, particularly the MMA under Anthony Serracino Inglott’s leadership.
The MMA is the regulator tasked with issuing licences to companies for the production in and exports from Malta of medical cannabis to European markets and beyond, after a rigorous process.
The future of the medical cannabis industry in Malta looks bright, with there also being several other companies that are in the process of obtaining their own licences in the coming months, which would allow for exports to a greater number of countries.
ME has also approved several start-up projects related to Research and Development on cannabinoids, their use in different therapeutic indications, and innovation in industrial processes related to cultivation and extraction.
Given Malta’s small size and business-friendly approach, it has become the ideal country for research in such areas, with schemes offered by ME allowing for greater financial and fiscal advantages that could assist companies at the start of their operations, purchasing equipment, relocation of machinery and personnel, research and development projects, salaries, and operational costs.
ME also assists these companies in training their employees, as through a collaboration with IDEA Academy and McGill University, ‘The McGill Medical Cannabis Course’ was held last March.
During the course, topics such as plant growth and genetics, processing techniques, quality assurance, physiological effects and other aspects of the cannabis production process were covered.