Bord Bia estimates Irish dairy exports at 3.4 Billion in 2016, with the EU and UK at 1/4 each or less than one Billion .
The EU medical cannabis market in 5 years is estimated at 100 Billion. For Ireland to grab that scale in the medical cannabis space it would only need to hit a 1% share of the EU market.
Malta is on track to smash its target of 1% or 1 Billion by 2020, with 46 cultivation applications received, 20 issued LOI’s creating 700 full time jobs.
Malta’s opportunistic government and PM passed medical research, cultivation laws last year along with its medical access program.
Fine Gael appears determined to sabotage any chance for Ireland at FMA (first mover advantage) in this 100 Billion new market, confining Ireland to importing expensive finished products, dispensed by pharmacists, Ireland needs to start growing.
With leadership and vision a target of 5% market share or 5 Billion is not overly ambitious for Ireland, dwarfing Ireland’s dairy industry which is about get a punch in the mouth from Brexit, but FG has a plan.
Given the widespread public support for medical cannabis in Ireland, it was decided that perennial loss-making polluter Bord Na Mona should be front and center.
It has just reported additional losses of 50 million, while investing a paltry 10 million in new business, Malta has received over 100 million in capital commitments to kickstart its nascent medical cannabis industry.
Minister of State for Natural Resources Seán Canney with Minister for Health Simon Harris nodding along, claims with BNM…
“…the possibility exists that [Bord na Móna] could do it for other governments and other countries, This could create a lot of jobs.”
This would be comical except its the Irish state is losing in this latest FG omnishambles. The Irish government has no strategy, vision or a goddam objective and plan for the cannabis market, be afraid for Brexit, very.
The EU market will be 100 Billion in 5 years, BNM invested a pitiable 10 million into new ventures, it doesn’t have the expertise nor capital to design, build and cultivate ‘vast’ growing ops in environmental war zones.The Ministers are giving false hope to workers losing their jobs and those in fear, deliberating misleading people.
BNM can participate in this new industry, in the green energy end or a JV, but all this kite flying is crowding out, serious discussion about the lack of legislative progress, required to start growing and cultivation in Ireland, at either micro or industrial scale, deterring inward investment.
Malta, meanwhile, is leaving Ireland in the dust, with laws passed and a strategic plan involving multiple stakeholders to establish Malta as the medical cannabis capital of Europe. The Irish government’s plan involves new minister and rookie TD Canney advocating and lobbying for loss making BNM.
The plan is to convert state-owned, redundant peat bogs into ‘vast’ cannabis farms, this has never been done but that has not deterred Sean from his half-baked misinformation campaign.
Malta seized the opportunity when legislating for access to medical cannabis to pass laws allowing for research, cultivation, extraction and export of medical cannabis, Fine Gael and Minister Harris did not.
Fine Gael has not addressed the production of medical cannabis and products, Malta did while FG Ministers were meeting lobbyists flogging finished product and the board of Ireland’s biggest polluter and perennial loss maker BNM.
Canney and Harris have persuaded them to undertake a two year feasibility study, according to the Irish Times:
“Both Mr Canney and Minister for Health Simon Harris have met management at the semi-State company in recent weeks to discuss the possibility that Ireland could manufacture its own medicinal cannabis supply, and also export it.”
Any chance of a ‘ feasibility’ study on empowering patients by issuing them growing licenses for say 6-10 plants, micro growing? Thought not.
In March 2018, Malta passed ‘The Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Research Purposes Use Act’ which legalised the research, cultivation, extraction and export of medical cannabis, Ireland has no such proposed legislation, nothing going on.
The Malta PM has supported this green job creating-machine, approved projects will create capital expenditure of 110 million, ten times what BNM spent on new projects for a 1% EU share by 2020.
Last November, Malta hosted the Medical Cannabis World Forum, it sends government reps to international conferences promoting itself as an ideal EU headquarters, cultivation and research location, its engaged with the space.
As the law stands – per Arthur Cox – cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, as amended, (the “Acts”), meaning cannabis products are subject to the strictest level of control.
Unless used for research, forensic analysis or as an essential material in an industrial manufacturing process, the manufacture, supply, distribution and/or possession of cannabis is illegal.
In other words you can not grow or cultivate medical cannabis in Ireland, no more than BNM can export it and create all those jobs in the midlands.
Harris has persistently stated that it makes sense for Ireland to have its own supply, but has done absolutely SFA, except encourage the fall guy Cannery who continues to frighten away inward investment, while also stifling domestic growing with all his BNM noise.
Malta is busy getting on with business, FG are turning cultivators/growers away with this nonsensical position of fully supporting medical cannabis cultivation and research, but not just yet…..
Simon Harris needs to grow up and really start the Irish medical cannabis sector with legislation allowing cultivation, before its too late.
‘Does it make sense to grow your own in Ireland rather than be dependent on importing a product?’ Harris was asked last year
“I think, quite frankly, it does,” he replied.
he Roll Up column by Johnny Green will attempt to keep Broadsheet readers up-to-date on the growing cannabis industry worldwide. Follow Johnny Green on twitter for even more updates.