• Irish farmers could be soon growing cannabis for medical purpsoes
  • Ireland’s Health Minister made comments on TV suggesting he’d prefer to grow the plants on Irish soil rather than import
  • Medical cannabis could be legal in Ireland by the end of 2019

A bill which would legalise medical cannabis passed through the Dáil (Ireland’s Parliament) earlier in December.

It now looks like the production of the cannabis which would be used for extraction could be done by Irish farmers after Ireland’s Health Minister, Simon Harris, suggested that Irish farmers could be used to supply the plant.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) expressed their willingness to meet with Mr. Harris after he made comments on the possibility of Irish farmers growing cannabis on Irish news channel RTÉ.

RTÉ’s agricultural programme Ear to the Ground looked into cannabis farms and the possibility of growing the crop in Ireland in the future.

On the show, Harris explained that he would like to see medical cannabis grown in Ireland in the future, adding that he hopes to introduce legislation allowing for medicinal use of the plant as early as 2019.

This is a major priority for me and I really want to see this happen in 2019.
– Simon Harris, Ireland Health Minister

Discussing the “lack of availability of cannabis” in Ireland, and how there are no plans for recreational use, Harris said on the show:

“This is not about the recreational use and people smoking joints.

“This is about using in a controlled way, in a monitored way, with the support of your clinician, a product that could ease your pain and suffering after you’ve tried all the conventional treatments.

“This is a major priority for me and I really want to see this happen in 2019.

“I think it could be an opportunity for Irish farmers in due course.

“Does it make sense to grow your own in Ireland rather than be dependent on importing a product? I think, quite frankly, it does.”

A spokesman for the IFA said:

“We note the minister’s comments with interest.

“Farmers always consider the merits of any potential diversification and we are open to meeting with the minister to discuss this matter, should he wish.”