The Government has announced it will not oppose Opposition proposals in the Dáil to make cannabis available for medicinal purposes.
Minister for Health Simon Harris confirmed he will facilitate a Bill put forward by People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny and allow it to progress to committee stage in the Dáil.
Mr Harris said he did not agree with all of the contents of the proposed legislation.
“However, on the central objective of the Bill, access to medicinal cannabis products, I accept the deputies’ bona fides, share their desire to make progress on this matter and it is clear there is much common ground on this across the Oireachtas.
“Therefore, while there are elements of the Bill I do not and will not support, I don’t wish to divide the Dáil on this issue and will not oppose the Bill at second stage.”
The Bill, which is to be debated on Thursday, provides for the regulation of cannabis for medicinal use – so that patients can receive a legally protected, secure supply that is safe and effective.
It also proposes the establishment of a cannabis regulatory authority, which would be tasked with regulating the sale, labelling, advertising and marketing of cannabis and related products.
A Cannabis research institute, which would conduct or commission and publish cannabis-related research, has also been proposed.
Mr Harris said he had serious concerns about those measures and would be tabling