The leading medical cannabis company in the United States has been granted a license to import, export, cultivate, process and distribute medical cannabis by the Maltese government.
By establishing a base in Malta, Columbia Care – which has teamed up with a Maltese company run by seasoned entrepreneur Michael Bianchi – will be the first US cannabis firm to gain a license to operate in the European Union .
Malta legalised medical cannabis back in March allowing family doctors to prescribe medical cannabis to patients. Five foreign companies have already been licensed to begin producing medical cannabis in Malta. These include three Canadian companies, one from Australia and another from Israel.
Columbia Care has gained a license from the Maltese economic development agency, Malta Enterprise and said it plans to use Malta as a European hub from which it can access other markets and expand its footprint.
“With a desire to realise our mission regardless of geography, we look forward to disrupting the status quo outside the US and bringing our expertise to the rest of the world,” chief executive at Columbia Care Nicholas Vita said.
Vita added “We are pleased that our operation in Malta will launch our EU expansion. This island nation has always been a key strategic access point for Europe. The leadership and expertise of our executive chairman and co-founder, Michael Abbott, and our partners in Malta, Solea Limited, were instrumental in realising this success.”
Solea Limited director Michael Bianchi said “the expansion of Columbia Care into Europe is significant, given its well-earned reputation as the leading medical cannabis company in the US. I fully believe that the company will continue to demonstrate the utmost excellence, professionalism and innovation in Europe and uphold its impeccable reputation at the international level.”
Holding 33 licenses across 13 US states Columbia Care is valued at $1.35 billion and is expected to quickly build up a presence in several export markets.