Cannabis in Ireland: What’s going on there?

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, we chose to explore the topic of cannabis in Ireland. Because … Why not?

Cannabis is slowly becoming more and more accepted around the world, and Ireland is no exception. Here, we will take a look at the current state of cannabis laws in Ireland, as well as what people can expect in the future.

MERCHANT'S  ARCH, TEMPLE BAR , DUBLIN, IRELAND-APRIL 02, 2015:The Merchants Arch Bar and Restaurant From the Heart of Dublin's Cultural Quarter Temple Bar.

Marijuana Laws in Ireland

Spoiler: The possession and or sale of cannabis in Ireland is currently illegal, as stated in the Misuse of Drugs Acts (1977-2016). Ireland’s legislation distinguishes between possession for private use and possession with the intention to sell, and the penalties for both crimes are different as well.

Possession for personal use can result in a fine ranging from €1,000 – €3,000, depending on one’s criminal history. A third offense can lead to jail time.

Selling cannabis in Ireland leads to even higher fines and an increased likelihood of imprisonment, mostly linked to the amount of marijuana seized.

But wait … Cannabis Seeds are Legal?

It follows, of course, that it is also illegal to grow cannabis in Ireland. But a surprising loophole in the law allows cannabis seeds to be freely bought and sold and even exported into and out of the country. You just can’t put them in the ground, apparently.

the cliffs of mohr in ireland

CBD and Hemp

CBD may be lawfully sold in the Republic of Ireland as long as THC levels are less than 0.2 percent. It is recognized by federal authorities that cannabidiol does not cause psychoactive effects and cannot be used to “get high.” CBD oil can be found in health stores all across the country.

Industrial hemp is also allowed in Ireland. It was once cultivated in the nation for centuries, but it was prohibited in the 20th century because of changing attitudes toward cannabis. A license for the Department of Health and Children is required to cultivate hemp, which must be renewed every year.

Ireland’s Medical Cannabis Program

In June 2019, Ireland’s Health Minister signed legislation that allows the use of medical marijuana. However, the medical cannabis program permits usage only in specific circumstances as part of a trial project until 2024.

This “Medical Cannabis Access Programme,” as it is officially called, is a 5-year pilot project to make it easier for patients to gain access to high-quality cannabis products that meet the requirements of the legislation. The program is available to persons with serious medical problems that have not responded to usual therapies:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
  • Severe, refractory (treatment-resistant) epilepsy.

Shifting Views from Medical Marijuana

St Patrick's Quay on the north channel of river Lee. Cork, Ireland

As with other countries, the introduction of Medical Marijuana in Ireland has begun to shift the county’s view on cannabis in general. In Europe, however, the legalization situation is considerably different. While the United States has mechanisms allowing citizens to directly modify laws via initiatives, most European countries do not.

The cannabis laws in Ireland are in desperate need of reform. Cannabis advocates in the country are working tirelessly to achieve legalization. Hopefully, as a result of the evidence provided by numerous North American states that have legalized cannabis, European nations are becoming more open-minded to cannabis legalization.

The Last Toke

We hope you enjoyed this quick run-down of all-things-weed in Ireland. Hopefully, you have come away with some interesting tidbits of knowledge to impress your friends with. Whether you’re drinking green, smoking green, dabbing green, or just wearing green, we at Frost wish you a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

happy st patricks day graphic with cannabis flower

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