Two Canadian companies have been approved as the first suppliers to the recently launched medical cannabis program in Ireland.
The Irish Government signed off on the launch of its five-year pilot in June, and now Aurora and MGC Pharmaceuticals have been selected to provide its first cannabis medicine.
Under the scheme consultants can prescribe to patients with 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.
Weeks To Wait
However, much like its U.K. neighbor 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. Dr Shane Morris, Chief Product Officer at Aurora said: “We are very proud to be one of the first approved suppliers of medical cannabis…and will continue to work closely with all parties and state agencies to facilitate further availability.”
The Medical Cannabis Access Programme was signed into law in June this year, by the Minister for Health in Ireland, Simon Harris.
80,000 New Jobs
Mr Harris said at the time that the program 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.
Meanwhile, a third Canadian company Province Brands of Canada, has appointed Irish drinks distributor Barry & Fitzwilliam, as its distribution partner to bring its non-alcoholic CBD beer to the Irish consumer.
Barry & Fitzwilliam is Ireland’s largest independent drinks distributor, and the new venture is expected to begin offering CBD-infused, barley-based, non-alcoholic beverages across Ireland in February 2020.