Seven apply for cannabis cultivation licence / Malta News Dispatch – Friday 19 May 2023

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Updated 1245

Heftier traffic fines come into force

Significant changes will be implemented to fines and penalty points for road contraventions as from today. In February, Transport Malta introduced stricter fines for driving offences, with the “aim of enhancing road safety and enforcement,” explained by the transport minister Aaron Farrugia later during a parliamentary session. Using a mobile phone while driving will now result in a €200 fine. If caught committing the same offence twice, the driving license will be temporarily revoked. Previously, the fine for mobile phone use while driving was €100, accompanied by three to six penalty points. For individuals driving vehicles transporting passengers or commercial goods, the fine for mobile phone use will be €300. (Maltatoday)

Seven apply for cannabis cultivation licence
Since February 28, seven associations have submitted applications to the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC) to obtain licenses for cannabis cultivation and distribution. Additionally, 11 names have been reserved for these associations, and several others are currently preparing their applications. This information was shared by Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms, Rebecca Buttigieg, on Thursday. (The Malta independent)

President en route to States

President George Vella has left Malta for a visit to the United States and Canada. President Vella will participate as a key speaker in an open debate organized by the Swiss Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. The debate will focus on protecting civilians in armed conflicts and addressing food insecurity and essential services. During the visit, President Vella will hold bilateral meetings with important figures such as the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Csaba Kőrösi. The President’s schedule also includes engagements with Maltese communities in New York, Detroit, and Toronto. (TVM)

Morning Briefing

Jihadist activity found on accused smartphones, Court told

During a court hearing on Thursday, investigators revealed they had discovered bomb-making instructions on the phones of five individuals who were among the seven arrested last month due to their suspicious jihadist social media activity. The instructions contained images and diagrams that detailed the manufacturing process of various types of bombs and explosives that could be made at home. All seven are pleading not guilty to the charges. (Times of Malta)

Persons transporting cannabis will require certification

New regulations dictate that the transportation of cannabis between cultivation sites and distribution outlets will now be handled exclusively by individuals certified by the Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC). In a statement on Thursday, ARUC Chairperson Leonid McKay emphasized the necessity of obtaining the new certification for cannabis transportation. McKay stated that the authority will issue certifications that meet the necessary criteria, ensuring secure transportation while facilitating smooth operations. (Maltatoday)

More than 56,000 students come to Malta to learn English in 2022 – NSO

In 2022, foreign students attending English language courses at local licensed English Language Teaching (ELT) schools amounted to 56,675, marking an increase of 28,822 over 2021, the NSO revealed. The latest data shows that the majority of students attending English language courses in Malta came from Italy (16.3 per cent), followed by France (13.1 per cent) and Germany (12.6 per cent). Overall, 70.5 per cent of total students originated from an EU country. (The Malta Independent)

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