22nd July 2021
By Roland Sebestyén
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Pro-cannabis advocates and campaigners are holding a large demonstration in Cork City to “keep the pressure on Government to end prohibition.”

The Irish Examiner reports that Cannabis rights campaigner Martin Condon organises an event on 7th August to offer an opportunity for the cannabis community to “get together.” It is believed that around 200 people could attend the protest.

Mr Condon said: “We want to hold a peaceful demonstration to show people who we are, to give Cork’s diverse cannabis community a chance to meet and to stand up for ourselves,” he said.

“This law has been very oppressive. Prohibition has been the big problem for many patients out there. Once we remove this prohibition, we’ll be able to carry out more effective research and provide more affordable access.”

A new poll recently published in The Journal has found that an astonishing 93% are in favour of medical cannabis use in Ireland. At the same time, according to the poll, almost 40% believe that “cannabis should be legalised for recreational use.”

It is also reported that 56% of those in the 18-34 group support recreational cannabis legalisation in the country.

We reported recently that Irish patients will soon be able to access a cannabis-derived epilepsy drug for free through the country’s health service, according to MGC Pharma’s announcement.

Its cannabis-derived epilepsy Investigational Medicinal Product (IMP), CannEpil, will now be fully covered by the HSE in Ireland.

CannEpil is a phytocannabinoid-derived IMP, designed to treat treatment-resistant Epilepsy with a high CBD, low THC formula, and was made available for distribution and prescription in Ireland in 2019 as part of the MCAP.

Roby Zomer, Co‐founder and Managing Director of MGC Pharma, said in a statement: “This is a key moment for MGC Pharma and for the Irish patients who can now receive cannabis‐based treatments covered by the National Health Insurance.

“Furthermore, this is a critical moment in the rollout of CannEpil both in Ireland and worldwide.

“Our goal is to improve the lives of people who suffer from Refractory Epilepsy and other indications, and by making CannEpil available free to access for patients in Ireland, this will now be the case.

“Combined with record monthly sales in May for our leading phytocannabinoid derived medicines, the company continues to deliver on its goal of building a strong and sustainable global bio‐pharma business.

“With further Clinical Trials of CannEpil underway, we hope to be able to increase the supply and availability of the medicine in the most affordable way to epilepsy sufferers globally in the near future.”

In separate news, in response to overwhelming calls for reform to Ireland’s Medical Cannabis Access Programme, the Department of Health has announced that medical cannabis patients will now be able to access direct payments to help cover the cost of their prescriptions.

In Ireland, there is a national prevalence of treated epilepsy of 9 per 1,000 people for those over the age of five, meaning an estimated 37,000 epilepsy patient population.

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