20 patients granted use of medicinal cannabis under consultant supervision

20 patients granted use of medicinal cannabis under consultant supervision

The Health Minister has granted medicinal cannabis be used to treat 20 patients after their doctors applied for a special licence.

The Department of Health grants the licences if the application is endorsed by a consultant who is prepared to monitor its effects.

There have been 43 applications by medical practitioners wanting to prescribe cannabis as a treatment for patients since late 2016.

Licences are valid for three months, followed by six-month extensions to the prescription.

Dr. Des Crowley from the Irish College of General Practitioners said the Government do not want cannabis to become widespread.

He said: "I think that the fear of many including the government is that if you have easy access to cannabis that you have a risk that it may go out to the ... black market.

"There is so much restrictions on how you study the benefits of cannabis that it's difficult to progress it."

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