Context of research
In 2021, the Maltese government made it possible to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, store up to 50 grams of weed at home, and carry up to 7 grams in public.
Earlier surveys from various sources indicated that smoking marihuana is quite popular in Malta. How has the legalization of cannabis impacted smokers in Malta? Are people growing happily? Did it push back street weed from dealers? How much do they spend on growing weed, and how much do they save not buying from dealers?
Our 7,800+ response survey targeted at the general public between 18 and 45 years old has revealed a lot of information. This age group makes up slightly over 50% of the population of Malta. Cannabis use is the most common in this age bracket.
7,883 random responses out of 50% of Malta’s 444,207 (official stats of 2022) population gives an excellent 1.4% margin of error, with an over 99% confidence level.
Let’s see the results
Based on the responses, 4.4% grow cannabis at home, and 1.4% tried but gave up. 51% of growers have two plants at a time, around 22% have three plants, 20% grow four plants at once, and 6.7% have only one plant.
Roughly 47% of cannabis growers claim their results are good enough. Around 24% said they wasted their time growing. 18% said their growing experience was disappointing, and less than 11% reported excellent results. The main reason for disappointment is poor weed quality, which is worse than the cannabis available from dealers.
Overall 38.5% claimed that their home-grown weed is better than what they can buy from dealers. 31% said theirs is worse, and the rest of the growers seem to have a similar quality to street weed.
Female growers are somewhat more satisfied with their results compared to male growers.
How did growing cannabis at home impact consumption, and the black market?
Nearly 50% of respondents shared that they smoke more weed since they grow it at home. Slightly less than 50% consume similar amounts, and less than 1% smoke less since growing up at home.
Among participating respondents, 40% kept buying weed from dealers, but 60% switched completely to smoking their cannabis.
Over 48% save between €50 and €100 monthly, not buying cannabis from dealers. Over 24% save between €100 and €200 a month by growing their own. Nearly 16% confessed saving below €50, and the rest feel that growing weed did not save them money.
How much money do growers spend on supplies?
Over 54% of respondents spend less than €50 on growing supplies, which does not include utility electricity bills. 38% spend between €50 to €100, and only less than 10% spend between €100 and €200.
Over 45% of growers in Malta buy their supplies from specialized local stores. The rest uses Amazon, eBay, and similar, orders from abroad, or purchase DIY stuff for their growing setup.
Reflecting on the results of the 18-45 age segment of the total population, we can estimate that around 9,680 people grow cannabis, which is 4.4 out of 100.
These statistics are similar to Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, and states in the United States, where growing at home is legal, or consumption is not a crime.
Cannabis consumption is the highest in Chile, with over 30% of the population smoking regularly. The top 15 list includes Canada, the United States, Israel, New Zealand, and Australia.