Leonid McKay, the Executive Chairman of the national cannabis regulator, refrained from providing clear details about the actions taken against Sprawt Cannabis Harm Reduction Association (CHRA), one of the first cannabis associations to hold an ‘in-principle’ license, for violating regulations in October. Despite clear regulations prohibiting social media advertising, Sprawt CHRA marketed its products on these platforms.
When contacted by The Shift, McKay stated that the licensing process was still ongoing, and full licensing would not be granted until associations were fully compliant. However, he did not confirm whether the Authority would take disciplinary measures, stating that investigations were ongoing and internal procedures were being undertaken.
Regarding the violation of rules, McKay initially denied any regulations were broken but later mentioned that if a full licensee breached regulations, he would report it to the police and the commissioner for justice. He emphasized that Sprawt did not yet have a full license, and internal procedures were in progress.
Sprawt CHRA, based in Żebbuġ, listed Andrew Cassar Overend as its key officer and treasurer. When questioned about the violation, Cassar Overend acknowledged the unauthorized post, attributing it to a mistake and ensuring steps were taken to prevent future occurrences.
Despite being one of the Authority’s first ‘in-principle’ licensees, Sprawt was notably absent from ARUC’s announcement of the first fully licensed associations. KDD Society and Ta’ Zelli were granted full licensing last week.
These non-profit associations aim to provide a safer alternative to the black market for cannabis, following Malta’s legalization of recreational cannabis use in December 2021 without a legal and regulated source for purchase.