Thursday, 15 July 2021

Questions (65)

Matt Carthy

Question:

65. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he plans to introduce measures to develop and expand the hemp sector in Ireland. [38157/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Programme for Government has committed to exploring the potential for the growing of fibre crops including hemp, to assess whether these crops have a viable market.

The Department has and continues to engage with stakeholders in the hemp sector on an ongoing basis. In the context, the Department is about to commence the consultative process by engaging with the relevant sectoral stakeholders including the representative bodies for the hemp sector.

As the Deputy may be aware, current legislation does not allow for the growing of hemp for fibre unless a specific licence has been granted by the Health Products Regulatory Authority. Following on from an earlier consultation carried out in 2018 with sectoral stakeholders, the consensus from those involved in regulation was that legislation governing the cultivation of hemp would remain under the auspices of the Department of Health.

This upcoming consultation process will concentrate on the potential for growing fibre crops and whether these crops such as Hemp have a viable market.