Legislation was signed in June which will allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) on a pilot basis for five years.
Commercial medical cannabis suppliers whose cannabis products meet the specified requirements set out in the legislation, and which have been listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use) Regulations, will be able to supply these products into Ireland.
Cannabis products will only be listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Prescription and Control of Supply of Cannabis for Medical Use) Regulations 2019 once they have been accepted as being suitable for medical use by patients under the Medical Cannabis Access Programme.
As yet no medical cannabis products are available for use under the MCAP but a number of suppliers have expressed an interest in supplying the Irish market. These products are currently being assessed.
The Department of Health will make this information available on their website.
Pending full operation of the MCAP and for medical indications not included in the MCAP, doctors may continue to utilise the Ministerial licencing route to prescribe medical cannabis for their patients, should they wish to do so. 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.
Full information on how to apply for a Ministerial Licence is available on the Department's website.