Ireland is the first country in Europe to legalise medicinal cannabis for an entire population, which they’ve just achieved with a significant budget. It could be that Ireland will one day have fully functioning dispensaries on every major street corner.

Aphria is a Canadian cannabis company that has been funded up front by the Dutch government. Vera Twomey, the CEO of Aphria, celebrated after this victory. Read more in detail here: aphria.



A long struggle was waged by a campaigner to acquire Bedrocan for her ill daughter Ava.

Vera Twomey has expressed her delight at the outcome. Nick Bradshaw is the photographer.


Vera Twomey, a campaigner who waged a long fight to get medical cannabis for her ailing daughter Ava, has expressed her delight at the news that the Bedrocan medication will now be paid up front.

Ms. Twomey, of Aghabullogue, Co Cork, had to come up with thousands of euros on a monthly basis to pay for Dutch medical cannabis Bedrocan, which was not included in the Medical Cannabis Access Cannabis program (CAP).

According to Ms. Twomey, approximately 60% of current medical cannabis users are on Bedrocan, which is administered via an individual licensing system.

Bedrocan had previously been excluded from CAP owing to legal obstacles on the Dutch side. As a consequence, patients taking the medication were not paid at the point of administration.

Ms Twomey had to come up with thousands of euros every three months and then wait a month for a return.

Paying in advance, according to Ms. Twomey, is a major concern. She expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped her during this difficult time.

“There is nothing I can do other than thank all those who supported us throughout this difficult time. We appreciate every message, call and comment more than I can say. Thank you so much.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that the Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP) is now available for medical consultants to apply to be enrolled for the program on behalf of themselves and their patients.

For the prescription of cannabis-based medicines under the MCAP, doctors and their patients must register on the Cannabis for Medical Use Register, which will be administered by the HSE.

Mr. Donnelly believes that this move forward will benefit patients who, under the supervision of their doctor, need medicinal cannabis products to help them cope with the symptoms of their serious medical illnesses.

“I now hope that the program will continue to develop and expand in order to better address the needs of patients and families across Ireland.”

The MCAP will need community pharmacists to agree on a dispensing charge, and this procedure is already underway.

In addition to the MCAP, the Minister of Health will continue to administer the Ministerial Licence program, which allows 63 individuals to get medical cannabis products from a pharmacy in The Hague, Netherlands.

Due to the Covid-19 travel limitations and quarantine procedures, the department has arranged for courier pickups of patients’ cannabis products in the Netherlands and delivery of these goods to their homes since April of last year. This project will be carried on.

It is anticipated that when more suitable medicines become available on the MCAP, Ministerial Licence Program patients will be able to be treated via the program. Patients and their doctors must, however, make this clinical decision.

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