Psychotherapist Mariella Dimech, former coordinator of Caritas’ drug rehabilitation department, has been appointed as the first executive president of Malta’s new Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis.
The Authority is envisaged by the law passed last month, which gave the green light to people of legal age to possess cannabis up to 7 grams, to grow up to four seedlings at home with which adults are allowed to possess up to 7g of cannabis, and to legally purchase through regulated clubs that will be authorized to operate and controlled by the new Authority.
Dimech was appointed for a three-year term. Working with her in the new Cannabis Authority will be a board of directors that also includes criminologist Janice Formosa Pace as vice-president, and a group of experts in psychology, psychotherapy, law and social work: Nadine Brincat, Sina Bugeja, Marius Caruana, Charles Cassar, Gabriel Farrugia, Paul Micallef and Charles Scerri.
Joe Reno Vella, a lawyer, will instead serve as the council’s secretary.
The appointments were made by the Minister for Equality, Research and Innovation, Owen Bonnici, who has been leading the country toward the process of legalizing cannabis.
Mariella Dimech is a professional psychotherapist and has worked for Caritas for 21 years, half of them as coordinator of all drug rehabilitation programs and services. She also directed the San Blas Recovery Community for six years.
Once the Authority has been appointed, we now await the publication of a specific regulation that will provide guidelines for the opening of clubs for the legal sale of cannabis.