Ireland’s medical cannabis program was approved two years ago, but the system has never been fully implemented as bureaucratic hurdles have hindered the ability to agree upon a foreign importer. Sensibly, Irish Health Minister Simon Harris has proposed that Irish farmers should cultivate cannabis for the Emerald Isle’s patients. The Irish Farmers Association (IFA), whose members have staged recent protests to publicize the plight of its farmers, are intrigued, as reported by TheJournal.ie:
Harris has acknowledged that the “lack of availability of cannabis products in Ireland remains the most critical barrier to full implementation” of the scheme.
“There is quite a lead-in time and there are patients who need this product as soon as possible. What we’re likely to do in the first course of action is to try and secure a product.
“Then in the medium terms talking about growing our own and securing our own supply in Ireland is the sensible thing to do,” he said.
An IFA spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that it is always open to discussing such measures.
“We note the minister’s comments with interest. Farmers always consider the merits of any potential diversification and we are open to meeting with the minister to discuss this matter, should he wish.”