Updates On My Hemp Petition Before A Dáil Committee

By Brian Houlihan

Blog updated on May 17th:

Petition before the committee for a second time

Last week my hemp petition was before the petitions committee once again and a number of decisions were taken. The committee decided to broaden out their examination.

Requests have been made to An Garda Síochána, the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Health for submissions on hemp. It will be fascinating to see the replies the committee receives. These responses could provide some clarity on the future of hemp in Ireland.

The committee provided me with a letter received from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine outlining its position. The letter states the Department of Agriculture will only consider the efficacy of holding a public consultation process after their own consultations with An Garda Síochána, the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Health.

The petitions committee will ask the Department of Agriculture for an update on their report within the next three months.

Letter the committee received

Below is a letter I received. It’s a submission the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine made to the committee.

Letter I received from the committee

The following was posted on April 11th 2017:

Video of my petition before the committee

Last week my petition (submitted in January) calling for a ‘Public consultation on the feasibility of developing a hemp industry’ was considered by a government committee. My petition calls for a public consultation process so that interested parties can submit materials to government. I believe this could create a serious discussion around developing the hemp industry.

I tried to get a similar petition considered in 2015 during the previous government’s term in office. Unfortunately that petition wasn’t considered in time before the fall of the previous government.

The committee has requested Teagasc provide them with an update on a report they issued in 2009 on the hemp industry. The committee also wrote to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for information about hemp.

The letter (which is available below) contains some misinformation and seems a little outdated. For example, The Irish Medicines Board has been called the Health Products Regulatory Authority for almost three years now.

There’s also little mention of CBD or building with hemp, two significant sectors which have emerged recently. The letter is similar to statements given in the Dáil whenever hemp was raised in recent years.

Below are the letters I received and the letters received by the committee. I will keep you updated on any information the committee provides about my petition.

Letter from the committee

Above is the most recent letter I received from the committee. Below is the letter the committee received in February from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Letter from Dept. of Agriculture to the committee

I have contacted the clerk of the committee to establish a timeline of what happens next. I am hopeful we will see the public given an opportunity to engage in this debate.

Brian Houlihan is the curator of the Dublin Hemp Museum and regularly writes about hemp. Follow him on Twitter at @dubhempmuseum and @houlihanbrian. You can also find the museum on Facebook.

You can find an archive of my blog posts here