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Govt publishes medicinal cannabis draft legislation

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Government on Thursday published draft legislation for the regulation of the production, import, export, marketing and supply of medicinal cannabis, while exploring the potential of a new industry that can boost the private sector. 

The Minister for Public Health, Dr John Cortes, announced this Bill during his budget address last month. 

In a statement from No.6 Convent Place, the Government said it is keen to support the efforts of the private sector by establishing the appropriate legal and regulatory architecture in order to create a robustly regulated medicinal cannabis industry. 

The Government said it has “spared no effort” in ensuring that the proposed Bill creates the potential for a new industry that is regulated fully in compliance with the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended from time to time.

“The Government foresees various potential outcomes in respect of this new market, including 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 Government added.

It further said that its “strict policy” will ensure that only “the most reputable businesses” will be licensed under the proposed new regime and licensed businesses will therefore need to conduct their operations fully in compliance with the statutory licensing framework.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “Government is delighted to have published this Bill given that it is predicted that medicinal cannabis as a business globally will continue to expand for the foreseeable future.” 

“Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is of the view that this new industry, comprehensively regulated to the highest standards, could well create an innovative and thriving sector of Gibraltar’s economy.” 

“I trust that the Opposition parties will agree with us that we should seize the potentially positive economic prospects that a robustly regulated cannabis industry can deliver.”

For his part, Dr Cortes said: “Medicinal cannabis, as an innovative market, could lead to quality employment and export opportunities to different jurisdictions.” 

“It is vital that we remain open to such new opportunities to maintain our economic growth.” 

“This has underpinned our firm commitment to private industry by establishing the relevant statutory and legal framework.”

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