Health Minister signs legislation to legalise use of medicinal cannabis

Health Minister signs legislation to legalise use of medicinal cannabis

The Minister for Health has signed legislation which will allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme on a pilot basis for five years.

The Programme will facilitate access to cannabis-based products for medical use in line with legislation.

The first stage of the Access Programme is for potential suppliers to apply to have their medical cannabis products assessed for suitability for medical use.

Currently no medical cannabis products are available in Ireland, however, this legislation now means that commercial operators whose cannabis products meet the specified requirements set out in the legislation and which have been listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use) Regulations will be able to supply these products to the Irish market.

Once suitable medical cannabis products are made available by suppliers, the Access Programme will make it possible for a medical consultant to prescribe a listed cannabis-based treatment for a patient under his or her care for the following medical conditions, where the patient has failed to respond to standard treatments:

  • spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis;
  • intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy;
  • severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.
  • "Today is a significant milestone," said Simon Harris TD.

    For years, families have fought for this programme to be established and for years, we have faced many challenges, obstacles and hurdles.

    "I am so pleased to be here today to advance this Programme and help the lives of many families across the country."

    He stressed that there are no plans to legalise cannabis in Ireland and the offences and penalties for unauthorised supply and possession of controlled substances remain unchanged.

    More on this topic

    Over 7,500 children waiting more than a year for occupational therapy assessmentOver 7,500 children waiting more than a year for occupational therapy assessment

    On song: Choir helps older people in rurual communities to connectOn song: Choir helps older people in rurual communities to connect

    Visitor restrictions in place at Limerick hospital over stomach bug outbreakVisitor restrictions in place at Limerick hospital over stomach bug outbreak

    Beat by beat: Can you rely on heart-rate monitors?Beat by beat: Can you rely on heart-rate monitors?

    More in this Section

    Recently uncovered love letter reveals director's 'schoolboy crush' on Maureen O'HaraRecently uncovered love letter reveals director's 'schoolboy crush' on Maureen O'Hara

    Over 7,500 children waiting more than a year for occupational therapy assessmentOver 7,500 children waiting more than a year for occupational therapy assessment

    Service commemorates British Army’s deployment in Northern IrelandService commemorates British Army’s deployment in Northern Ireland

    Funeral of Roy Keane's father Mossie hears he 'was very proud of all his children'Funeral of Roy Keane's father Mossie hears he 'was very proud of all his children'


    Lifestyle

    The Menu was delighted to make recent mention of a new UCC postgraduate diploma in Irish food culture and is equally pleased to announce availability of two new bursaries for same.The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

    More From The Irish Examiner