It is an offence to cultivate, import, export, produce, supply and possess cannabis except in accordance with a Ministerial licence.
The Misuse of Drugs (Designation) Order 2017, limits the purposes for which such licences for cannabis can be issued, for example for forensic analysis or research - including research involving the cultivation of cannabis for use in approved clinical trials.
Policy to date has not permitted the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes and no licences have been issued for this activity. However it is envisaged that recent developments on access to cannabis for medical use may prompt a review of this position in the future.
The Department's priority at this time is the sourcing of suitable quality approved, affordable, finished cannabis products for medical purposes, i.e. those products that have been made in a GMP certified facility or equivalent internationally recognised quality standards. Cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes will not be addressed until this critical goal is achieved in the shorter term as all available resources are focussed on this work.
Further information regarding the licensing process of cannabis cultivation for research purposes may be obtained from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).