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Former Health Minister to advise on medicinal cannabis law

Neil Costa.

Former Minister for Health, Neil Costa, has been requested to advise and assist the Gibraltar Government in drafting legislation for the regulation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

In a statement from ISOLAS LLP, Mr Costa said he was delighted to have been asked.

The Bill was last week published by the Gibraltar Government for the regulation of production, import, export, marketing and supply of cannabis for medicinal use and connected purposes.

The Bill was announced during the budget last month by the Minister for Public Health, Dr John Cortes, in his speech.

Dr Cortes also said the Gibraltar Government will support the efforts of the private sector to establish the appropriate legal and regulatory architecture in order to create a robustly regulated medicinal cannabis industry.

The Bill creates a new, potential industry that is regulated fully in accordance with the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended from time to time.

Subject to discussions with the UK Government, the Gibraltar Government foresees various potential outcomes in respect of this new market.

This includes regulatory alignment with the United Kingdom Medicines and Health Care Products in respect of certification of local licences; engagement with UK Government departments and agencies in respect of UN Single Convention reporting and related matters; exploring product demand that may exist in the United Kingdom that Gibraltar’s new economic sector may be well placed to supply; and synergies arising in respect of research and the development of the sector more broadly.

The Gibraltar Government will maintain a “strict policy” that ensures that only the most reputable businesses should be licensed.

Dr Cortes, in his speech, said that this new industry, broadly regulated to the highest standards, could well create a pioneering and thriving sector of Gibraltar’s economy.

He also noted that the new market could lead to quality employment and export opportunities to different countries.

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