The Ireland Working Group intends to facilitate the development of the cannabis industry in the Republic of Ireland which has unique connections to the UK but is a member of the EU.
The potential for cannabis in Ireland is huge and the country itself is changing rapidly as a young, progressive population is fighting to break free from a very old fashioned society, still strongly influenced by the Catholic Church. The legalisation of same sex marriage and abortion, both within the past seven years, were unthinkable a decade ago.
Hemp farming has been thriving but poorly developed regulations have caused great confusion, particularly with regard to the CBD market.
The Gardai and the Food Safety Authority are continuing raids and seizures of products that they maintain are unlawful despite the recent European Court of Justice ruling that CBD is not a narcotic.
Several High Court challenges are due to be heard in Spring/Summer 2022.
The Medical Cannabis Access Programme, finally operational in 2021, four years after it was announced, is probably the most restrictive in the world short of an outright ban. There is extraordinarily strong opposition to medicinal cannabis from the medical establishment, probably stronger than anywhere else in Europe.