Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.11 16 Oct 2020


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The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is looking to diversify what its members grow.

The group wants to meet with the Department of Health to discuss the possibility of changing laws so they can produce 'industrial hemp, CBD oil and medicinal cannabis'.

Pat Farrell is horticulture executive with the IFA.

He told Newstalk Breakfast there would be limits in place.

"I suppose people confuse, to a certain extent, recreational cannabis use and with cannabis use for industrial and medicinal purposes.

"Your listeners mightn't be aware but the tillage sector here in Ireland has probably declined by 20% in area since 2012.

"Farmers are always looking for diversification and new crops that they can grow that are profitable.

"We operate in commodity markets with the wheats and barley and oats and those type of things.

"We're always kind of looking for alternative or niche markets - and hemp is one of those".

"The part that Irish farmers are interested in is it's use for industrial and then medicinal purposes.

"But at the moment there's a block in the legislation, because for medicinal purposes if you're producing say hemp - which is one of the hundreds of thousands of cannabis plants - if you're using that you can get THC from it, which is the part which is used for recreational drug use.

"And then you've the CBD oil which is the part used for medicinal purposes.

"That CBD oil, there's no problem with that under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but of course THC is banned".

"What we want is that you can grow cannabis plant, but they must be less than .3% of THC content - but they can have a limit maybe of CBD up to 15% or more.

"It's just separating that out".

"Even when that would go, that's all licensed, and then it would go to controlled processors and then if there was even minute levels of THC - and don't forget the varieties allowed shouldn't be over .3% THC anyway - and then they can be destroyed".

Reaching new highs? Farmers want to grow medicinal cannabis

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   

Main image: Marijuana trees are seen during a press tour of the Medicinal Cannabis Research Institute in Bangkok, Thailand in 2019. Picture by: SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

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CBD Oil Farmers Irish Farmers Irish Farmers Association Medicinal Cannabis Newstalk Breakfast Pat Farrell

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