There was an opening of a wider door for an emerging sector which has substantial potential for the creation of jobs and a new revenue stream for the Government’s coffers when the Health Minister Simon Harris signed legislation for allowing for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Program on a 5-year pilot basis.
The program has taken 2 years to establish, largely due to challenges in sourcing a suitable supplier of cannabis with the required quality assurances for export into Ireland.
While the immediate needs of the sector will be catered by this outside supplier, the legislation does allow for potential local producers to apply to have their cannabis products assessed for suitability.
Mister Harris stated that he has a very open mind about Ireland producing its own supply of cannabis and that his gut feeling is that it should.
Given that there is no availability of medical cannabis products in the country, potential suppliers can apply to the Health Product Regulatory Authority to have a product considered for inclusion in the schedule of “specified controlled drugs”.
In the start of this year, Minister of State for Natural Resources ‘Séan Canney’ affirmed that he met with Bord na Móna management in order to discuss the firm’s proposal to grow medicinal cannabis on its vast bogland across the Midlands.
While the proposal is in the early development stages, it fits in with the firm’s efforts to decarbonize as part of a climate change transition.
Bord na Móna is making a significant contribution in the area of national land use change.
It has already rehabilitated 15,000 hectares of bog, with an additional 20,000 hectares by 2025.
As part of its focus on the creation of jobs and opportunities by means of resource recovery, renewables, and new sustainable businesses, the firm is conducting a number of likely projects regarding the development of novel low-carbon goods & services in the area of medicinal herb cultivation & aquaculture.