The Temple Bar district in Dublin, Ireland.

René Silvio H.

Irish Health Minister Asks for MMJ Review, Mulling Legislation

Irish Health Minister Simon Harris has requested a report on medicinal cannabis from the Health Products Regulatory Agency, promising to consider introducing legislation based on the findings, according to an Irish Times report. He has asked the agency to provide recommendations on recent developments in the use of medical cannabis and an overview of the “wider ongoing and emerging clinical research” associated with the plant’s medicinal efficacy.

Harris is pushing for the changes after meeting with Vera Twomey, whose six-year-old daughter suffers from Dravet syndrome but is nearly seizure-free after starting a regimen of two doses of cannabis oil per day.

The republic’s legislative health committee is due to discuss allowing medicinal cannabis use later this month; meanwhile, TD Gino Kenny, of the Anti-Austerity Alliance—People Before Profit party, has introduced the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Bill 2016 but it’s unlikely to pass without the majority government’s support, according to the report.

The bill would allow for medicinal cannabis regulation, permitting the importation of the drug and making a “legally-protected, secure supply” available in pharmacies. It would also ban the advertising and sale of cannabis to minors.

Medicinal cannabis is available in the some U.S. states, Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Croatia, Malta and some US states. CBD-only products will soon be available throughout the UK.        

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