Last Updated on Saturday, 15 May, 2021 at 1:32 pm by Andre Camilleri
Government’s vision for a new productive economic niche reaping results as more international medical cannabis companies cement their local presence
Zenabis announced on Friday that its Maltese joint venture, ZenPharm Limited, has received its Medicinal Cannabis License from the Maltese regulatory authorities.
The receipt of the Medicinal Cannabis License follows on the earlier European Union Good Manufacturing Practices certification issued by Malta Medicines Authority in January 2021.
The Medicinal Cannabis License is the final license requirement under Malta’s regulatory framework. The Medicinal Cannabis License allows ZenPharm to commence commercial shipments to the European Union, where Germany is ZenPharm’s most prominent target market. ZenPharm has an executed supply agreement with a German-based customer to supply a minimum volume of 500 kg per year. To that end, ZenPharm will be accepting shipments of up to 300kg from Zenabis Atholville through the end of this calendar year.
ZenPharm will also be launching finished cannabis products under its own brand for distribution within the Maltese medicinal cannabis market, with similar entry into the Polish market expected in the Q1 2022.
Chief Executive Officer of ZenPharm, Angele Azzopardi, said: “Whilst ZenPharm GMP Certificate solidified ZenPharm’s position within Zenabis’ strategy for global outreach, the achievement of the Medicinal Cannabis License is instrumental for the joint venture’s vision by way of effective implementation. We are incredibly proud of the team’s relentless efforts and dedication. The attainment of this License continues to showcase Malta’s regulatory gold standard in assuring the highest quality in medicinal cannabis products”.
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli said: “This announcement is another milestone in the establishment of Malta’s Medical Cannabis industry. This Government had the vision to establish this emerging vertical as a new economic niche for Malta. The initial enabling legislation has led to the attraction of a number of companies that are now being issued with a production license following a thorough inspection by the Malta Medicines Authority.”
“A number of startups are also currently looking at Malta to establish their RDI operations. This forms part of our wider offering as a jurisdiction for activities related to the production of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medtech, and life sciences, fields which all offer quality employment opportunities and an added value to our economy. I would like to thank both Malta Enterprise and the Malta Medicines Authority on their sterling work to make all of this happen,” Minister Dalli said.
Malta Enterprise, the national economic development agency which falls under Minister Dalli’s portfolio, has been crucial in assisting the company to set up their operation in Malta.
Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista, who is responsible for the Malta Medicines Authority, explained how this license is an essential milestone for establishing cannabis for medical use in the pharmaceutical industry.
He said that by producing this medicine as per the EU-GMP standards, we would be guaranteeing that the patients are receiving products originating from the scientific advancements in medical cannabis which are of the highest quality, the most secure, and effective on the market.
In December 2020, the Malta Medicines Authority had also issued a license for the production of medical cannabis to another Canadian company, Aphria. Meanwhile, last month, Israeli company TechforCann announced that it will be establishing the first European tech accelerator for the medical cannabis industry, in Malta. This project was also supported by Malta Enterprise through funding that will help startups which are selected to participate in the TechforCannEU accelerator programme.
Zenabis is a leading Canadian licensed cultivator of cannabis for medical and recreational use. Zenabis employs staff coast-to-coast, with three licenced Canadian facilities in Atholville, New Brunswick; Langley, British Columbia; and Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Zenabis serves international markets directly and in partnership with its joint venture, ZenPharm operating from Birżebbuġa, Malta. Zenabis distributes cannabis products and derivatives under the Zenabis, Namaste and Re-Up brand names.
ZenPharm Limited, headquartered in Malta, is a fully licensed EU-cGMP pharmaceutical company that specialises in medicinal cannabis. ZenPharm is focused on building pharmaceutical expertise that predominately concerns the processing of cannabis into finished dosage form products that are both conventional and innovative in their delivery systems. Above all, ZenPharm strives to go beyond the conventional, whilst keeping patient care at the heart of everything it does.