When Health Minister Simon Harris recently signed legislation to allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme on a five-year pilot basis, he opened the door wider for an emerging sector which has significant potential to create jobs and a new revenue stream for the Government’s coffers.
The programme has taken two years to establish, mainly due to difficulties in sourcing a suitable supplier of cannabis with the required quality assurances for export into Ireland.
While this outside supplier will cater to the immediate needs of the sector, the legislation does allow for potential local producers to apply to have their cannabis products assessed for suitability.
Mr Harris said he has a “very open mind” about Ireland producing its own supply of cannabis and that “my gut feeling is it should”.
Given that no medical cannabis products are currently available in the country, prospective suppliers can apply to the Health Product Regulatory Authority to have a…