Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Ceisteanna (447, 448)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

447. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her plans to lift the policy ban on enterprise support for the hemp industry in view of a European Court of Justice ruling (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8799/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

448. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if her Department has ever consulted with the hemp stakeholder body; her plans to consult with it following the recent European Court of Justice ruling (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8800/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 447 and 448 together.

I understand that Enterprise Ireland is currently not in a position to support companies active in the area of cannabis-based products. Enterprise Ireland’s position is based on the fact that products containing any trace of THC are considered as a controlled drug in Ireland under the Misuse of Drugs Orders.

Currently, there is no lower limit of THC permissible under national legislation. Therefore, products which can contain even minimal levels of THC pose a reputational risk to Enterprise Ireland as the agency is not in a position to verify which companies, products and extraction methods meet the legal requirement in Ireland to contain 0.00% levels of THC, at least until there are further legislative or regulatory developments which may mitigate the reputational risks in future.

My colleague, Minister Simon Harris T.D., Minister for Health, who has responsibility for the designation of substances under S.I. No. 69 of 1998 - Misuse of Drugs (Designation) Order, 1998, may be able to provide more specific material in response, including as regards the matter of appropriate meetings with representative bodies of the sector.