By Emily Ledger
Ireland is experiencing a Cannabis boom which spans both the farming and product industries. The country has recently welcomed a number of international businesses, as an entry point to the European market.
According to the Irish Mirror, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) received 77 license applications for growing Industrial Hemp by July, this year. This number compares with 24 applications in the whole of 2018 and just seven in 2017.
The amount of Hemp cultivated is expected to grow from its current 1,000 acres to up to 5,000 acres, following this dramatic rise in applications. Ireland’s temperate, climate has been described as ideal for the growth in the plant.
In addition to this forecasted growth in the farming industry, international Cannabis companies have been expressing interest in the country. In the last couple of years, a number of businesses have set up businesses in Ireland. This is partly due to its proximity to Europe.
The Hemp Growers and Processors Association said:
“[The Hemp sector will] only get bigger and better over the coming years, as the world seeks more renewable and environmentally friendly ways of producing products”.
Satipharm, a Canadian company owned by Cannabis giant Harvest One, set up offices in Dublin in 2018. The company made the move after having “looked around Europe for a suitable location and team”. The Cronos Group has also established Cronos Group Celtic Holdings in Dublin, and Mile High Labs, a Colorado business, recently established operations in Belfast.
In addition, the country can expect further moves from international Cannabis companies. Province Brands, a Canadian drinks company has recently announced plans to release a CBD beer in Ireland, next year.
With a large proportion of Irish farmers currently producing meat and dairy, Hemp could potentially offer an alternative. As vegetarianism and veganism continue to rise, the meat and dairy industry will see a decline. However, the versatility of Hemp crops means that it has literally thousands of end uses.