TWO companies have been approved as the first suppliers to Ireland’s recently launched medical cannabis programme.
The Irish Government signed off on the launch of its five-year pilot in June, with Canadian firm Aurora and MGC Pharmaceuticals, of Australia, selected to provide its first cannabis medicine.
Under the scheme consultants can prescribe to patients for spasticity, associated with multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-related intractable nausea and treatment-resistant epilepsy.
The two products are Aurora High CBD Oil Drops and CannEpil, both are CBD based drugs with the latter being used to treat epilepsy.
However, much like its UK neighbour there will be a time-lag of weeks between prescription and receipt of the drug.
The Irish Journal reports that under the scheme the two companies have to apply for a licence to bring the product into Ireland for distribution.
CannEpil is a product that ‘has been years in the making’, and was released into the market in 2017, says Roby Zomer, Executive Director and CEO at MGC.
The Medical Cannabis Access Programme was signed into law in June this year, by Ireland’s Minister for Health, Simon Harris.
Mr Harris said at the time that the programme would allow ‘compassionate access to cannabis for medical reasons’ in cases where conventional treatment has failed.
The Irish Government says it wants to encourage the development of a home-grown cannabis cultivation and hemp industry saying it the potential to create over 80,000 jobs.