It is open to a medical practitioner wishing to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes for an individual patient under their care, to apply for a Ministerial licence to do so, under Section 14 of The Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977 to 2016 and the Regulations made thereunder.
It is important to note that it is the decision of the clinician, in consultation with their patient, to prescribe or not prescribe a particular treatment for a patient under their care. As Minister for Health I have no role in the clinical decision making process.
In line with the Chief Medical Officer's advice, the granting of a licence for cannabis for medical purposes must be premised on an appropriate application being submitted to the Department of Health, which is endorsed by a consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient and who is prepared to monitor the effects of the treatment over time.
To date licences have been issued in respect of twenty individual patients under this provision of the Act.
Medical practitioners and patients are encouraged to consult the Department of Health website which contains information on medical cannabis, including clinical guidance on the use of medical cannabis and details on how a medical practitioner may apply for a Ministerial licence for medical cannabis.