Cannabis Legalization in Ireland

 

cannabis legalisation in Ireland

Cannabis Legalization in Ireland

Cannabis legalization in Ireland is going through very challenging times. Politics around legalization are very different in Europe. While the USA has provisions that allow voters to directly change laws via initiatives, most European countries don’t.

Ireland cannabis laws are in very need of change. Cannabis activists in the state such as, Cork Cannabis Activist Network, are pushing hard for legalisation in Ireland. Hopefully, European countries are becoming more open-minded towards cannabis legalisation because of the experience of multiple North American states that continue to prove legalization of cannabis can be profitable for local budgets.

We had the chance to discuss Cannabis legalization in Ireland with Nicole, the founder of the Cork Cannabis Activist Network, who explained to us what the cannabis laws are in the country and what their work consists of to help change them. If you want to understand Cannabis Laws in Ireland, this may interest you.

“The system here is basically a mess. People are being criminalised for being caught with joints, or tiny amounts of cannabis, as well as for growing cannabis and possessing it in larger quantities, even if it’s for personal use.” – Nicole, Founder of CCAN, the Cork Cannabis Activist Network, advocates of cannabis legalization in Ireland.

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Can you possess cannabis in Ireland?

Possessing cannabis is illegal in Ireland, as stated in the Misuse of Drugs Acts (1977-2016). In accordance with Ireland’s regulation, possession for personal use and possession with intent to supply punishments reflect certain distinctions when it comes to its penalties.

Possession of cannabis in Ireland, results in a €1,000 fine. It can be extended to €1,270 for a first offence and €2,540 for a second if it is considered excessive.

After a third offense you may face a prison sentence. It is up to one year to three year.

Courts must consider community service instead of a prison sentence, in all cases where up to a year’s imprisonment is deemed the right punishment.

Can you sell cannabis in Ireland?

Selling cannabis  in Ireland is also illegal. The penalties imposed depend on various factors, such as:

  • The offender’s circumstances
  • The type of drug
  • The quantity of the cannabis seized

The sale of cannabis can be punished with a fine of up to €2,500. This may also be accompanied by a prison sentence of up to a year.

Can you grow cannabis in Ireland?

It may not come as a surprise that it’s illegal to grow your own cannabis plants in Ireland. Cannabis cultivation equipment is prohibited in line with the Psychoactive Substances Act, as well. Police raid in a single operation 60 major cannabis-producing factories with a total street value exceeding €6million.

Despite the fact that you can’t grow cannabis plants in Ireland, cannabis seeds are openly available in the country, It’s legal to purchase and sell them in Ireland. And you can legally receive them from other countries.

(1) A person shall not cultivate opium poppy or any plant of the genus Cannabis except under and in accordance with a licence issued in that behalf by the Minister.

(2) Every person who cultivates opium poppy or a plant of the genus Cannabis in contravention of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence. –Misuse of Drugs Act, 1979

Are CBD and Hemp legal in Ireland?

Irish law permits the sale of CBD, as long as THC levels are below 0.2%. Authorities recognise that cannabidol does not produce psychoactive effects and cannot be used to “get high” and it’s not uncommon to see CBD oil in health shops across the country.

Although, CBD is not currently listed as a medical product by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), meaning it cannot be prescribed as a treatment option.

When it comes to hemp, Industrial hemp cultivation is legal in Ireland. To cultivate hemp a license for the Department of Health and Children has to be granted and renewed yearly. Certain conditions must be followed by the farmers:

  • Plantations must also be located away from public roads,
  • All plants must contain 0.2% THC or less.

Medical Cannabis in Ireland

Ireland’s Health Minister, Simon Harris, signed legislation that allows people to use medical marijuana, in June 2019. The medical cannabis program only allow the use in specific cases on a pilot basic until 2024

The Health Products Regulatory Authority is in charge of the medical cannabis program in Ireland. The body has developed guidance on the requirements to be fulfilled in order for a cannabis-based product or preparation to be allowed

Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP)

It is a 5 year pilot programme to facilitate access to cannabis-based products for medical use that are of a standardised quality and which meet the requirements outlined in the Misuse of Drugs, Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use,  Regulations 2019. Patients with access to the program are those with medical conditions which have failed to respond to standard treatments:

  • spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis;
  • intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy;
  • severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.

Controlled Drugs Licenses Allowed in ireland

To get a license under the medical cannabis program in Ireland, you will have to apply to one of the licenses listed below:

  • Manufacture of any controlled drugs listed in the schedules
  • Supply, import, export or possess a controlled drug in Schedules 1 and 2
  • Supply, import, export or possess a controlled drug in Schedules 3, 4 and 5

4.—(1) The Minister may make regulations enabling any person, or persons of a prescribed class or description, in prescribed circumstances or for prescribed purposes, to possess a controlled drug subject to such conditions (if any), or subject to and in accordance with such licence, as may be prescribed. Misuse of drugs Act, 1977

Are CBD and Hemp legal in Ireland?Cannabis Legalisation in Ireland

Irish law permits the sale of CBD , as long as THC levels are below 0.2%. Authorities recognise that cannaidol does not produce psychoactive effects and cannot be used to “get high” and it’s not uncommon to see CBD oil in health shops across the country.

Although, CBD is not currently listed as a medical product by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), meaning it cannot be prescribed as a treatment option.

When it comes to hemp, Industrial hemp cultivation is legal in Ireland. To cultivate hemp a license for the Department of Health and Children has to be granted and renewed yearly. Certain conditions must be followed by the farmers:

  • Plantations must also be located away from public roads,
  • All plants must contain 0.2% THC or less.

Medical Cannabis in Ireland

Medical cannabis legalization in Ireland kind of happened, but apparently is very tricky. Ireland’s Health Minister, Simon Harris, signed legislation that allows people to use medical marijuana, in June 2019. The medical cannabis program only allow the use in specific cases on a pilot basic until 2024

The Health Products Regulatory Authority is in charge of the medical cannabis program in Ireland. The body has developed guidance on the requirements to be fulfilled in order for a cannabis-based product or preparation to be allowed

Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP)

It is a 5 year pilot programme to facilitate access to cannabis-based products for medical use that are of a standardised quality and which meet the requirements outlined in the Misuse of Drugs, Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use,  Regulations 2019. Patients with access to the program are those with medical conditions which have failed to respond to standard treatments:

  • spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis;
  • intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy;
  • severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.

Controlled Drugs Licenses Allowed in ireland

To get a license under the medical cannabis program in Ireland, you must apply to one of the licenses listed below:

  • Manufacture of any controlled drugs listed in the schedules
  • Supply, import, export or possess a controlled drug in Schedules 1 and 2
  • Supply, import, export or possess a controlled drug in Schedules 3, 4 and 5

4.—(1) The Minister may make regulations enabling any person, or persons of a prescribed class or description, in prescribed circumstances or for prescribed purposes, to possess a controlled drug subject to such conditions (if any), or subject to and in accordance with such licence, as may be prescribed. Misuse of drugs Act, 1977

Don’t miss out on our Marijuana Legalization Map where you can browse the current status of laws in every state in the United States and see all our posts on each of them.

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