It’s time to address the elephant in the room – aka, the highly-anticipated Cannabis reform, which is expected to see quite a few changes that we’re about to delve into…
With the new reform – which was presented to parliament this week – cannabis users will be able to grow a maximum of 4 plants at home or buy the substance safely from specially set up associations, similar to those of Barcelona or Portugal.
However, smoking a joint in public will remain illegal. Anyone caught consuming cannabis publicly may be fined up to €235. The fine increases to €300 for minors. In the meantime, adult, cannabis users will be permitted to carry up to 7g of marijuana without the risk of arrest or confiscation.
Explaining the reform, minister Owen Bonnici insisted that the police will indeed be enforcing these rules, which were drawn up after a public consultation period on the white paper that had been published back in March.
People will also be allowed to store up to 50g of dried cannabis buds at home. Membership associations will allow users who are unwilling or unable to grow at home to legally obtaining the drug, by becoming members and buying their supply from it. Members will remain anonymous and no one under the age of 18 may become a member. Membership fees are expected to cost around 10 Euros.
Consumers may buy up to 50g a month, 7g per day, and up to 20 seeds a month from said associations. People cannot become members of more than one association. They must be run as NGOs and companies will be prohibited from owning any too.
Each association is limited to 500 members and can store up to 500g of dried cannabis at any point in time. These associations must also be over 250 metres away from schools or youth centres and cannot advertise or promote cannabis use.
On top of that, all cannabis associations will have to register with the new Responsible use of Cannabis Authority and file a report periodically, every three months.