Officials in Ireland are making permanent a service enacted during the pandemic allowing medical cannabis delivery to registered patients in the country from companies based in The Netherlands, the Irish Post reports. Prior to the pandemic, Irish patients would have to travel to The Netherlands to pick up their medicine.
Although authorities in The Netherlands prohibit commercial exportation of cannabis oils, it does allow individual prescriptions from European Union states to be filled, the report says.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly told the Post that, following the implementation of the rule, his office received praise about the program which led to the decision to make it permanent.
“They spoke about the stress of having to travel regularly and the associated health risks with that, as well as their concerns that they would run out of their medication. There will no longer be a need for them to travel abroad in order to collect their prescribed cannabis products. Instead, they can focus on their health and wellbeing. The welfare of patients and their families comes first and I am happy to reassure them that they will no longer have to personally source their prescriptions.” – Donnelly in a statement via the Post
Ireland launched its medical cannabis program as a 5-year pilot just last year. The program allows access for just three qualifying conditions – intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, severe and treatment-resistant epilepsy, and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. According to the Post report, there are 30 physicians in Ireland licensed to make program recommendations.
Health Department officials still have to finalize the details of the delivery service as a permanent part of the medical cannabis regime.