The coronavirus pandemic takes hold in Ireland, forcing the government to seek aid from the Netherlands, in order to make sure medical cannabis patients can continue their treatments. After a press release, published on the Department of Health’s website, Minister of Health Simon Harris announced his plan to help medical cannabis consumers in the country in the coming weeks.
In Ireland, the corona crisis threatens to cause problems for medical cannabis patients. However, the government can’t be caught off guard.
Because of the corona pandemic, medical cannabis patients from various countries are encountering problems in accessing their treatment. Through self-isolation, closed borders and issues with supply and distribution lines, for example. However, in order to mitigate all the issues caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, the government is asking for emergency aid from the Netherlands.
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Irish government is worried about cannabis patients
In Ireland, medical cannabis hasn’t been legal for very long, as it was approved only in 2016. In addition, cannabis still requires special approval by the Minister of Health in order to be used as a treatment. However, even though medical cannabis and CBD are easy to come by, the government maintains a firm stance against the use of recreational cannabis.
According to the Irish law, the penalization of being caught in possession of cannabis could be between $1.100 (€1,000 ) and 1 year in prison, depending on the circumstances. Although, rarely someone is sent to prison, only that a person goes to jail only for simply being in possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Moreover, the European island does not yet have its own cannabis production facility. At the moment, cannabis consumers can find the cannabis-derived products they’re interested in (limited choice, gamma radiation, too expensive). However, given the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s only legal cannabis growers now help Irish patients during the corona crisis.
This was made clear by a press release published on the official website of the Department of Health, in Ireland. There it can be read that “Health Minister, Simon Harris TD, announced an initiative for patients who have a ministerial license to receive medical cannabis products”.
An enormously noble act by this Minister, that’s going to help many medical cannabis patients seeking treatment. Because even though there aren’t many Irish people with such a government stamp for meds, Health Minister Simon Harris is genuinely concerned about their fate in these times of crisis, lockdown, and coronavirus.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, there hasn’t made any official statement in this respect. No minister or secretary of state has said anything about the position of the government in regards to thousands of medical cannabis patients.
Emergency aid for the cannabis industry in times of great turbulence
“I am aware that the limited number of patients licensed for medical cannabis under section 14 of the Misuse of Drugs Acts are experiencing difficulties in accessing their medication due to travel restrictions and the need for people to self-isolate,” said the Irish Minister Harris.
“I am very pleased that we have been able to make arrangements for an emergency supply of their products which we have collected for them in the Netherlands. That’s where the cannabis-based products are collected and then we send them to patients in Ireland,” she continued.
The minister concluded with good news for needy medical cannabis consumers on the island: “Patients and their doctors are currently being approached by the ministry so that this arrangement can be put into practice.”
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