The Cabinet has agreed on new legislation to improve access to medicinal cannabis, the Prime Minister announced yesterday.

Speaking yesterday, Joseph Muscat also unveiled his dream of Malta becoming a production centre for the medicinals.

“Cabinet has approved legal amendments to help people suffering from illnesses such as cancer – who have so far had to jump through hoops to get their hands on this medication made from marijuana extracts,” he said.

The Times of Malta has reported extensively on the difficulties of patients suffering chronic symptoms when they are unable to get medicinal marijuana products.

READ: 'Cannabis medicine helped me to control pain'

READ: Doctors call for greater access to medical cannabis

In August this newspaper reported doctors’ concerns that several cannabis derivatives were still considered illegal despite legislative changes. The Drug Dependence (Treatment not Imprisonment) Act, which came into force in 2015, allows registered specialists to prescribe the products listed under the Medicines Act if they believe there is no alternative.

However, the only product currently available is Sativex, still considered illegal by authorities.

Dr Muscat said patients would no longer need a specialist’s approval and could go through their general practitioner.

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