Ireland to OK medical cannabis for select conditions

Cannabis is set to be legalized in the Emerald Isle for the treatment of several medical conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and for those undergoing chemotherapy.

Simon Harris, Ireland’s Minister for Health has given the go ahead for a “compassionate access programme” be established for certain patients who had not responded to other treatments.

The report was compiled by an expert working group of doctors, pharmacists and patient representatives and convened by the Health Products Regulatory Authority. It states that cannabis has potential therapeutic benefits, but there is a need for more robust evidence to be generated through clinical research in patients. The new medical cannabis scheme will run for five years and will be constantly monitored by Irish health service experts.

“I believe this report marks a significant milestone in developing policy in this area,” Harris told The Guardian. “This is something I am eager to progress but I am also obligated to proceed on the basis of the best clinical advice.”

The use of cannabis products for other medical conditions will also be kept under consideration as further evidence becomes available.