In November 2016 the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, requested that a report be prepared for the potential medical use of cannabis. At the back of this the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) convened an expert working group to assist with its review and the report Cannabis for Medical Use – A Scientific Review was created. Following the publican of the report Minister Harris established an expert reference group to advise on the development of a Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) in Ireland.
The Group developed clinical guidelines for the Programme and can be downloaded here: Clinical Guidance on Cannabis for Medical Use
On 26th June 2019, the Minister for Health signed legislation to allow for the operation of the Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) on a pilot basis for five years.
The MCAP enables a medical consultant to prescribe a cannabis-based treatment for a patient under his or her care for the following medical conditions, where the patient has failed to respond to standard treatments:
In November 2021, Oleo's medical cannabis products were added to the MCAP, these products can now be prescribed by your consultant and are suitable for the treatment of Chemo-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV).
MCAP is not required or intended for authorised medicinal products but rather to facilitate access to cannabis-based products that are not authorised as medicines but are of standardised quality and meet an acceptable level of quality assurance during their manufacturing process.
You can find out more about MCAP on the central portal for government services and information