Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction

Cannabis in Malta is legal, within limits, to grow, use, and possess for adults. In 2018, the Parliament of Malta legalised medical cannabis. On 14 December 2021, the Parliament of Malta legalised recreational cannabis for personal possession and use for those aged 18-years-old and over, becoming the first EU country to do so.[1][2][3][4]

Guerrilla gardening[edit]

In 2014 news media reported that cannabis saplings were appearing in roundabouts and centre strips in Gozo and Zebbug.[5]


In April 2015, new policies to decriminalise cannabis in Malta came into force. Simple possession still remained an "arrestable offense", so that the police remained able to fight drug trafficking. The possession of a minimal amount of drugs (3.5g; ⅛ oz) for personal consumption was effectively decriminalised. First-time offenders will be handed fines of between €50 and €100 in the case of cannabis possession. Repeat offenders will appear before a Drug Offenders Rehabilitation Board, headed by retired Chief of Justice, which will set conditions for rehabilitation. Breaching the conditions would be tantamount to a criminal offense. The Magistrates Court - in cases not involving the use of weapons or violence - would be able to act as a Drugs Court and refer the accused for treatment to the rehabilitation board.[6][7]

Medical cannabis[edit]

Sativex was approved for prescription use in 2015. As of July 2017, however, no patients have been treated with it.[8]

In March 2018, the Maltese president signed into law legislation approving medical cannabis with a prescription, though the legislation did not detail which specific conditions would merit the use of cannabis.[9][10]

Recreational cannabis[edit]

On 18 February 2021, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced plans to introduce a law that would legalise possession of a small amount of cannabis and plants for personal use.[11]

On 14 December 2021, recreational cannabis cultivation and use was legalised for those aged 18-years-old and above.[3][4] In Malta, it is now legal to carry up to 7g (¼ oz) cannabis, each household may grow up to 4 plants and up to 50g (1¾ oz) of dried and stored cannabis.[4] It is also legal to establish cannabis associations, known as Cannabis Social Clubs, which can cultivate cannabis to distribute among members, up to a maximum of 7g (¼ oz) per day and 50g (1¾ oz) per month. Non-profit organisations are also allowed to grow cannabis in Malta to sell to up to 500 members in the country but are not allowed near schools or youth clubs.[3] Smoking in public remains banned.[12] Possessing up to 28 grams (1 oz) can result in a fine of between €50 and a maximum of €100 but will not result in a criminal record.[4]

The law came into force with the signature of President George Vella on 18 December 2021.[13] The Authority on the Responsible Use of Cannabis, a new public body in Malta, oversees the new law regarding legal cannabis.[3]


  1. ^ Bubola, Emma (December 15, 2021). "Malta Becomes First E.U. Country to Legalize Marijuana". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Cannabis bill approved in parliament, in first for Europe". Times of Malta. 2021-12-14. Retrieved 2021-12-14.
  3. ^ a b c d "Malta becomes first EU country to legalise cannabis for personal use". Euronews. 14 December 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d Boffey, Daniel (13 December 2021). "Malta to legalise cannabis for personal use in European first". The Guardian. Brussels. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  5. ^ Allied Newspapers Ltd (2014-05-19). "Cannabis saplings in Zebbug roundabout removed". Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  6. ^ "Simple possession to remain an 'arrestable offence' - but only to fight drug trade – Bonnici". malta independent. 2015-03-17.
  7. ^ "New drugs reform law into force today– what has changed?". 2015-04-15. Retrieved 2022-05-24.
  8. ^ Diacono, Tim (2017-07-19). "Thousands in Malta suffering over extreme restrictions on medical cannabis, says family doctor". Malta Today. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  9. ^ "Malta legalizes marijuana prescriptions; production law nears approval". MJ Biz Daily. 5 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Malta has officially legalised medical cannabis". Malta Today. 2018-03-27.
  11. ^ "PM plans law banning arrests for cannabis for personal use". Times of Malta. 2021-02-18. Retrieved 2022-05-24.
  12. ^ "Through the smoke: What you need to know about new cannabis rules". Times of Malta. 2021-12-14. Retrieved 2022-05-24.
  13. ^ Jaeger, Kyle (2021-12-18). "Malta Officially Legalizes Marijuana With President's Signature, Becoming First In Europe To End Cannabis Prohibition". Marijuana Moment. Retrieved 2022-05-24.

Further reading[edit]