In accordance with the results of the referendum proposed by the Albanian Prime Minister, Albania has decided to open the production of medical cannabis in the territory, for the moment only for export.
And the least we can say is that Albania is wasting no time. The law on medical cannabis and the conditions for obtaining licenses relating to the production of cannabis have already been drafted, 4 months after the end of the referendum.
The legal initiative aims to regulate and control the cultivation, processing and export of the Cannabis plant and the production of its by-products, intended for medical and industrial purposes.
For the implementation of the law, the National Agency for the Control and Monitoring of the Cultivation and Processing of the Cannabis Plant is created and will depend on the Ministry of Health. The agency is responsible for controlling and monitoring the process at all levels, from seeds, planting, harvesting, drying and the final destination of the cannabis.
Each company’s license will be approved by the government based on certain selection criteria and procedures organized by the National Cannabis Agency. The decision to provide a company with a license for the cultivation of cannabis is proposed by the Minister of Health, in this case by Minister Ogerta Manastirliu.
Restriction, no more than 150 hectares
The law sets a limit on the maximum area of land that can be cultivated with cannabis. Specifically, the total area authorized for the cultivation of the Cannabis plant for medical purposes cannot exceed 150 hectares nationwide.
In addition, the area of the activity license unit for medical purposes cannot be less than 5 hectares or more than 10 hectares. This restriction is expected to spark a tug of war between companies for licenses.
Conditions for obtaining a license
The law sets strict criteria for obtaining a license. In practice, no Albanian company meets these conditions, since the first criterion is that the company must have experience in the cultivation, production, processing, circulation and administration of the cannabis plant.
The company or shareholder holding 51% of the shares of the company must be engaged in the production of products derived from the cannabis plant in one of the 38 countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The entity must have at least a GMP certificate issued by the European Medicines Agency and the American Food and Drug Administration. In addition, the company must have a capital of at least 100,000,000 ALL (825,000 €).
Interested companies should also submit their business development plan, cultivation model and cultivation goal as well as the minimum and maximum area of the development unit. They must present a treatment plan for the premises for the drying, cutting and storage of cannabis.
The security plan for the cannabis cultivation and processing area defining the protection elements, fencing, security with cameras and physical security for 24 hours.
Among the criteria for applying for a license are the self-declaration of the employment of at least fifteen people, the self-declaration of the desire to conclude agreements with the responsible structure of the ministry responsible for law enforcement public and security to ensure access for inspection and self-declaration that it will begin to exercise within 12 months of obtaining the license.
Entities will also have to agree to pay, after the third year, an annual fee equal to 1.5% of annual turnover, but in any case not less than ALL 10,000,000 (€82,500).