Press Release

Statement from Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, regarding medicinal cannabis

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, had a good meeting with Vera Twomey and Paul Barry today where he took the opportunity to update them on the review of Ireland’s policy on cannabis for medical purposes, which he announced last week. The Minister reiterated that he has asked the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) to provide expert advice on this issue. The HPRA’s statutory role is to protect and enhance human health by regulating medicines and other health products. It has clinical and scientific expertise which will contribute significantly to this review. The Minister has asked the HPRA to provide advice on:

  • recent developments in the use of cannabis for medical purposes; in particular this should include: an overview of products that have been authorised in other jurisdictions;
  • an overview of the wider on-going and emerging clinical research in new indications and evidence of efficacy;
  • an overview of the different regulatory regimes in place in countries which allow cannabis to be used for medicinal purposes;
  • legislative changes that would be required to allow use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Ireland.

The Oireachtas Health Committee will also examine the issue of cannabis for medical purposes later this month. The Minister hopes to receive the report from the HPRA and the output from the Oireachtas Health Committee in January. He will then be in a position to move forward with any legislative changes that may be recommended.