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Ireland Has Only Approved 53 Patients For Medical Cannabis In Recent Years

Cannabis Flower Plant Garden

Ireland adopted a medical cannabis policy reform measure back in 2019, however, it took many years for patients to be permitted to safely access medical cannabis therapeutics in the European country.

Medical cannabis policy modernization efforts have spread across the globe in recent decades, with many countries adopting medical cannabis policies and regulations that are more or less strict than others.

Ireland’s medical cannabis program is much more restrictive compared to other nations, including nations in Europe, and that is reflected in the low number of patients that have received approval in recent years. Per Independent:

Around 53 people have been approved to take medical cannabis in recent years with the number of conditions it can treat likely to be increased.

In a parliamentary response to Independent TD Violet-Anne Wynne, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the purpose of the programme was to enable compassionate access to cannabis for medical reasons, where conventional treatment has failed.

Mr Donnelly said: “It follows the clear pathway laid out by the Health Products Regulatory Authority in their expert report ‘Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review’.”

Medical cannabis programs are only as good as the number of qualifying conditions that patients can qualify for, and Ireland limits the program to spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Even in instances in which a patient suffers from one or more of those conditions, they can only be approved to seek medical cannabis therapies in Ireland after they have exhausted all other prescribed medications and treatment regimens.