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Is Marijuana Legal in Ireland?

Irish flag with marijuana in front.

Cannabis is illegal in Ireland for recreational use. Medical drug use is permitted only with case-by-case approval into the medical cannabis program by the Minister of Health.

Many view cannabis as functionally illegal for medical use, as approval is reportedly very difficult to obtain.

The gardaí (Irish police) have a level of discretion they can employ when dealing with small amounts of cannabis.

Cannabis convictions require analysis of the suspected product by the Garda Forensic Science Laboratory to verify it is cannabis.

This need for verification, in combination with the time it takes an officer to process an arrest, means that people may be let off with a warning under the Adult Cautioning Scheme.

If this is the case, the crime isn’t prosecuted, but all cannabis is seized, and a record is made of the offender’s name.

Punishments for cannabis possession in Ireland depend on the quantity and the intended purpose.

Under Irish law, if the amount is small and is believed to be for personal use, the court may impose a fine of up to €1,000 on summary convictions. Conviction of indictment for possession may come with fines of up to €2,500.

The punishments are the same for the second conviction of each type. Should a third summary conviction be made, the court may impose up to 12 months of imprisonment and fines.

A third conviction of indictment risks a prison sentence of up to 3 years, as well as appropriate fines.

THC-containing edibles, such as gummies or cookies, fall under the jurisdiction of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977/1984. Possession of THC-containing products is illegal in Ireland and punishable as outlined above.

Ireland’s National Police and Security Service website states that the Irish government has no plans for cannabis legalization.

What Are the Medical Marijuana Laws in Ireland?

Medical marijuana laws in Ireland allow the drug to be used to treat a list of minimal medical conditions, with only a few authorized cannabis-based products.

The 1998 regulations covering the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1977 list cannabis, cannabis-based products, and their derivatives as schedule 1 drugs.

Products on this list are illegal to produce, store, transport, consume, supply, or distribute without a license provided by the Minister of Health.

Such a license was granted in 2002 to a company engaged in medical trials within Ireland, but only for using nabiximols, a cannabis extract.

In 2014, nabiximols were excepted from the 1998 regulations to allow the medicine to be prescribed to patients.

The first license for the medical use of cannabis was granted in 2016 to a boy with Dravet’s Syndrome, who had previously received cannabis-based treatment overseas.

How Much Cannabis Can I Possess in Ireland With an MMJ Card?

Cannabis is illegal in Ireland, and it is unclear if this changes if you have an MMJ card.

Possession of cannabis flower, or any other non-pharmaceutical cannabis product, is illegal in Ireland, regardless of whether you have been prescribed it by a doctor.

Possession of cannabis in Ireland can be punished with fines and jail time, possibly even if you have an MMJ card.

How Do I Get Certified for Medical Cannabis in Ireland?

Certification for medical cannabis in Ireland must be done through your physician.

As per the Health Products Regulatory Authority of Ireland website, the importation, prescribing, and supply of cannabis-based products or preparations is possible only with prior approval by the HPRA acting on behalf of the Minister of Health.

Prescribing clinicians are required to obtain an annual license to prescribe any Schedule 1 drug and an import license if importation is required.

Is Telemedicine Allowed for Medical Cannabis Consultations in Ireland?

It’s unclear if telemedicine consultations are permitted to gain authorization to use medicinal cannabis in Ireland.

Telemedicine consultations are possible when the doctor is based in another country, but that likely won’t allow you to purchase, consume, or store cannabis legally in Ireland.

Does Ireland Have Any Employment Laws Protecting Medical Cannabis Cardholders?

No official statements about laws protecting medical cannabis cardholders have been made.

What Are the Medical Cannabis Product Testing Requirements in Ireland?

Medical cannabis is legal in Ireland, but only for a few pharmaceutical products. It’s unclear what product testing requirements are in place for these medicines.

No reports of official medical cannabis testing in Ireland are available to the public.

It’s illegal to grow cannabis plants in Ireland without permission from the government.

If you’re caught growing cannabis in Ireland, you may receive a fine of up to €2,500, a prison sentence of up to 12 months, or both should the court feel appropriate.

On conviction of indictment for growing cannabis, you risk greater fines and a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Where Is It Safe to Purchase Cannabis in Ireland?

Purchasing cannabis in Ireland is illegal. It’s not safe for cannabis users to purchase cannabis in Ireland without the risk of fines or jail time.

It’s also not recommended to bring cannabis into Ireland as it’s unclear whether local laws recognize foreign medical marijuana prescriptions or MMJ cards.

Where Is It Safe To Consume Marijuana in Ireland?

It isn’t safe to consume recreational cannabis while you’re in Ireland. Cannabis is illegal in Ireland, apart from for medical purposes, and it can come with heavy penalties if you’re caught with cannabis without government permission.