Cannabis in Ireland – Laws, Use, and History
Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in Ireland, nor can it be sold. However, despite the government’s relatively tough stance on prosecuting offenders, the country is surprisingly liberal regarding CBD and medical cannabis – both of which are legal. Ireland is also capitalising on the economic opportunities that industrial hemp offers.
- CBD Products
- Recreational cannabis
- Medicinal cannabis
Cannabis laws in Ireland
Can you possess and use cannabis in Ireland?
Possessing cannabis is illegal in Ireland, under the Misuse of Drugs Acts (1977-2016). Distinctions are made between possession for personal use and possession with intent to supply; and the punishments reflect this.
If you’re caught with cannabis for the first or second time, you may receive a fine of €1,000 in the District Courts. If the case leads to a conviction by indictment in the High Courts (for example, if the quantity of cannabis was deemed excessive), this fine can be extended to €1,270 for a first offence and €2,540 for a second.
Offend a third time (or more), and you may face a prison sentence. This is currently up to one year in prison for a summary conviction, and up to three years if you’re convicted on indictment.
The Criminal Justice (Community Service) Act 2011 means that courts must consider giving a community service order in place of a prison sentence, in all cases where up to a year’s imprisonment is deemed the right punishment.
Can you sell cannabis in Ireland?
Selling or supplying cannabis is also illegal in Ireland. Different penalties are imposed depending various factors, such as:
- The offender’s circumstances
- The type of drug
- The quantity of the cannabis seized
Any sale of controlled drugs such as cannabis can be punished with a fine of up to €2,500. This may also be accompanied by a prison sentence of up to a year.
For larger quantities, penalties can be as severe as life imprisonment, and the minimum sentence for selling cannabis is currently 10 years if the market value is €13,000 or higher. In 2013, this sentencing regime was protested by the Law Reform Commission, based on its presumptive nature.
Can you grow cannabis in Ireland?
Despite the fact that cannabis seeds are openly available in the country, it’s illegal to grow your own cannabis plants in Ireland. Cannabis cultivation equipment is also prohibited (in line with the Psychoactive Substances Act).
However, this hasn’t stopped some Irish people from attempting to grow it, and figures suggest that incidences of homegrown cannabis are on the rise. One operation alone saw police raid 60 major cannabis-producing factories. They seized plants with a total street value exceeding €6million.
Is CBD legal in Ireland?
Irish authorities recognise that CBD (cannabidiol) does not produce psychoactive effects and cannot be used to ‘get high’. As such, the law permits its sale (as long as THC levels are below 0.2%), and it’s not uncommon to see CBD oil in health shops across the country.
Despite this, CBD is not currently listed as a medical product by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). This means that doctors cannot currently prescribe it as a treatment option.
Some experts, such as Professor David Finn (NUI Galway) are concerned that CBD is not recognised as a medical treatment, and want to see its sale and supply more tightly regulated. “It’s very hard to know exactly what the composition of some of the products is,” he tells The Journal. “Some of them aren’t tested rigorously for quality control. So there can be batch to batch differences.”
He adds that: “some of these preparations are referred to as CBD oil or cannabis oil, which usually means it’s an oil extracted from the plant. But the cannabis plant is extremely complex, it has over 700 constituents in it, about 114 of these are cannabinoids.”
In 2018, the FDA in the USA approved Epidiolex as a medicine. It’s believed that Ireland may follow in the footsteps of the USA, and start to recognise CBD as a medical product, which in turn would lead to better regulation.
Can cannabis seeds be sent to Ireland?
It’s legal to purchase and sell cannabis seeds in Ireland. You can also legally receive them in the post from other countries. However, using them to grow cannabis plants is illegal.
Medicinal cannabis in Ireland
Cannabis was legalised for medical use in 2014. The license was limited to just one product, Sativex, and it could only be prescribed to MS patients. Ongoing disagreements regarding pricing and distribution mean that, at the time of writing, Ireland has yet to issue a single prescription for it.
The Department of Health issued a statement in 2018, claiming that officials had met with regulatory bodies and other stakeholders in cannabis production and supply, in Denmark. “The aim of these meetings,” it was claimed, “was to hear about the Danish cannabis access programme and enquire if a supply of medical cannabis products could be sourced.”
Health Minister Simon Harris told The Journal that the medical cannabis scheme was making “huge progress”, but acknowledged the challenges of obtaining a continuous, high-quality supply.
Industrial hemp in Ireland
Industrial hemp cultivation is legal in Ireland. In fact, it’s been grown in the country for centuries but was banned in the 20 th century when public perceptions of cannabis began to turn negative.
In 1995, the Irish government recognised the economic value of industrial hemp. They also acknowledged its use as a source of sustainable oil and fibre. To cultivate hemp, the farmer must possess a valid licence from the Department of Health and Children, and the licence must be renewed each year. Plantations must also be located away from public roads, and all plants must contain 0.2% THC or less.
As yet, the industrial hemp industry hasn’t really taken off in Ireland – but there is potential for it to grow in the future.
Good to know
If you are travelling to Ireland (or currently live there), you may be interested to know the following:
- 13.8% of young adults (15 to 34 years old) use cannabis in Ireland.
- Some political parties have called for personal use of cannabis to be legalised. The Green Party are a notable example, who want recreational use to be decriminalised, but cultivation to be limited to ‘two plants per private residence’.
- The economic potential of Ireland’s medical cannabis market is huge. Figures show there are currently 12,000 Parkinson’s sufferers, 8,000 MS sufferers, and 12-14,000 fibromyalgia sufferers. This is in addition to 40,000 people suffering from epilepsy. Experts estimate that providing cannabis treatment to these patients could increase the market’s value to €1.1billion by 2028.
Political parties and cannabis
Opinions on cannabis are split in Irish politics. Fine Gael (the largest political party, and traditionally right-of-centre) stated in 2013 that “it is not the intention of the government to legalise the use of cannabis either for medical or recreational reasons.” However, they were in favour of legalising Sativex. Labour (who are left-of-centre) surprisingly adopted the same position.
Fianna Fail (the third largest party) supports legalisation for medical purposes but not “for any other circumstances” and the Socialist and Green Parties both support legalisation of cannabis, even for recreational use. The Socialist Party added: “it should be made available through a State monopoly with accompanying safeguards for harm minimisation and education about the effects of use.”
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Attitudes to cannabis
A 2016 study found that cannabis use was widespread among teenagers (15-18 year olds), with 39.3% of participants claiming they’d used it. It also found that most of these adolescents regarded cannabis as ‘low risk’ in terms of producing mental or physical health problems.
A further study explored the opinions of general practitioners working in the country. Although the majority were against legalising cannabis for recreational use, many agreed that it should be permitted for medical purposes.
Although there is still some hostility towards cannabis use in Ireland, it seems that attitudes are changing rapidly. Medical cannabis is regarded by several as beneficial, with few speaking out against it.
Ireland and the ‘green rush’
Niall Neligan, the founder of the drug policy law reform group, Fweed, put forward a proposal to revolutionise cannabis regulation – and inject €300million into the country’s economy by 2025.
The plans aim to eliminate the black market, protect children, and offer benefits to both public health and scientific research. It’s anticipated that the framework will create 15,000 jobs, and will also transform Ireland into a major European centre for cannabis over the next decade.
If adopted, pharmacies would be able to sell medical cannabis to certified patients, and licenced social clubs could be established for recreational users. Adults would be allowed to buy up to 60 grams per month (15 grams per week) and gift five grams or below. In addition, six plants could be cultivated at home for personal use (with only three flowering at any time). For medical patients, this would be increased to 12 (with six flowering at any time).
Neligan put forward a passionate argument to the government, stating that Ireland shouldn’t be held back by “relying on outdated policies born out of ignorance and social conservatism.” He also stated that, by taking control of cannabis, the criminal industry would lose its power. “No drug,” he claimed, “has ever been made safer in the hands of criminal gangs.”
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Will cannabis be legalised in the future?
Neligan’s plans mark clear interest from the government in terms of exploring options; both for public safety and health, and for the economy of the country. Likewise, the recent steps taken to make medical cannabis more widely available is an indication that attitudes are changing.
Ireland may well follow in the footsteps of Canada and regulate both medical and recreational use of cannabis. Only time will tell if this happens or not.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide legal advice, as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.
Buying Marijuana Seeds in Ireland 2022
Laws on Buying & Growing Marijuana Seeds in Ireland. Growing Tips, Recommended Strains, and the Best Seed Banks That Ship to Ireland For the 2022 Growing Season.
Despite the fact that cannabis is being legalized all over the world in various ways, Ireland is one country that is currently sticking to the old ways.
Though cannabis has proven to be beneficial for plenty of people, the Irish government is seemingly less convinced of the fact. For now, cannabis and the cultivation of cannabis seeds are completely illegal in Ireland in almost every capacity with violations resulting in fines or even jail time.
However, the once tight restrictions are appearing to slowly wane with the introduction of new programs within the country that are focused on medical marijuana usage. This might just pave the way for the legalization of cannabis seed cultivation and seed banks within the country so that you can grow your very own bud!
When you look at the very vocal political opinion on cannabis usage within Ireland, it can seem like the country has absolutely no intent on moving towards legalization. Even so, 2019 has been the dawning of what might very well be a new era for the Irish government and their opinion towards marijuana.
For now, we are here to teach you how to buy cannabis seeds from seed banks in Ireland. From the best seed strains that’ll grow in Ireland to Irish marijuana laws, you’ll learn everything you need to know to stay safe while growing weed in Ireland.
In a Nutshell — The Legality of Buying Marijuana Seeds in Ireland
Ireland is a mesmerizing country that’s filled with rolling countryside, historic castles, and intoxicating pubs.
With so much traditional beauty, Ireland lacks in terms of meaningful cannabis regulation. If you want to buy and grow cannabis seeds — here’s a summary of the legality of marijuana in Ireland.
- Recreational cannabis is illegal
- Medical Marijuana is legal (however, it’s very limited)
- Growing cannabis seeds is illegal
- Possessing marijuana seeds from seed banks is legal
Now that you understand the fundamentals, let’s go in-depth on buying marijuana seeds in Ireland. You’ll learn about our top-rated grow tips, recommended seed strains, seed banks that ship to Ireland, and so much more!
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Growing Cannabis Seeds in Ireland
If there’s one thing anyone living in Ireland can agree on — it rains a lot.
Whether you’re new to cannabis cultivation or not, let’s talk about overcoming Ireland’s poor weather to grow excellent cannabis during the 2022 season.
When to Sprout Cannabis Seeds in Ireland
The best time to germinate cannabis seeds in Ireland is during the first half of May.
Remember, you want to wait until the threat of frost and the majority of wet weather is over.
Issues to Consider When Growing Marijuana Seeds in Ireland
When it comes to growing cannabis seeds, the biggest threats to your crop is:
- The weather (rain)
- Law enforcement
- Mold (due to high humidity)
Tips for Growing Cannabis Seeds in Ireland
If you want to grow the best weed in Ireland, here are a few of our top-rated tips to ensure a hefty harvest of trichome-packed buds.
Buy Cannabis Seeds From a Reputable Online or Local Seed Bank in Ireland
Without a doubt, finding reputable online or local seed banks to buy cannabis seeds from is the top priority.
Seed banks allow you to find verified seed strains that don’t produce any surprises.
Buy Cannabis Seeds for Your Regional Climate in Ireland
Next, Ireland isn’t the easiest place to grow cannabis seeds.
However, buying cannabis seed strains that exhibit these following characteristics for the Irish climate will have you harvesting top-shelf buds in no time:
- Resistance to bacteria and fungi
- Resistance to cold
- Short flowering time
Plan Your Cannabis Garden in Advance
Once your weed seeds arrive from a seed bank — don’t germinate them until the indoor or outdoor garden is set up.
Which Marijuana Seed Store Is the Best Option For Irish Residents?
Buying cannabis seeds from seed banks in Ireland is incredibly easy. Let’s talk about two different methods for buying marijuana seeds in Ireland.
Local Cannabis Seed Stores in Ireland
It is always beneficial for cannabis users to refer to the laws of their local area prior to making any purchases regarding cannabis seeds.
There aren’t any formal Irish seed banks, but there are plenty of online seed banks that can help you obtain cannabis seeds.
Online Cannabis Seed Banks That Ship to Ireland
There are plenty of amazing seed banks that ship to Ireland and other places around the globe.
We are of the opinion that the best two around are MSNL Seed Bank and Crop King Seeds. Both of these top-rated seed banks offer discreet shipping and multiple payment methods for Irish residents.
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Recommended Cannabis Seed Strains to Buy From Online Seed Banks and Grow In Ireland
If you’re wondering which seed strains to grow in Ireland for the 2022 growing season – here are our top three recommendations.
THC Bomb Feminized Seed Strain
If you grow cannabis indoors and want to unleash a massive amount of resin-covered bud into your stash jars — the THC Bomb seed strain is all you need.
The THC Bomb seed strain is easy to grow and packs on a massive harvest. However, we recommend growing this beast of a weed strain indoors in Ireland for the best harvest possible.
Blue Dream Feminized Seed Strain
The Blue Dream seed strain comes in multiple types, such as feminized or autoflowering.
If you grow cannabis outdoors, we recommend the ultra-fast flowering Blue Dream Auto seed strain. For indoors, you can’t beat the quality of the Blue Dream feminized seed strain.
Big Bud Feminized Seed Strain
The goal of any cannabis cultivator in Ireland is to grow cannabis seeds that produce a lot of weed in a short amount of time.
The answer to this conundrum is none other than the Big Bud feminized seed strain — especially the autoflowering version.
Beat the weather and your expectations with the Big Bud seed strain in Ireland!
The History of Cannabis and Cannabis Seeds in Ireland
Ireland’s history with marijuana and cannabis seeds is rather comparable to what we have seen in other European countries.
For a while, it had not been made illegal yet, but there were still some opinions of what dangers it might pose. Ultimately, the government decided that cannabis was a dangerous substance, much like other countries. The result was that cannabis ended up being added to the list of potential problem substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act in 1977.
Medical Marijuana in Ireland
Throughout history, there have been some variations around this. As the growing pressure regarding medical marijuana use has continued to take the world by storm, many people have begun to pressure the government to adopt a more understanding approach to marijuana and the benefits that it might bring.
Though the laws surrounding medical marijuana and derivative products has been largely handled on a case by case basis, the future looks a little brighter in Ireland for those looking to find relief.
Beginning in 2002, GW Pharmaceuticals was given permission to begin medical trials with certain cannabis-derived products. The licensing opportunity made it possible for products like Sativex to be used in hospitals with certain patients to meet their needs. After this, there still was not much change from the government regarding cannabis use, medical or otherwise, despite the public inquiries and pressure being placed on them from various pro-cannabis groups like NORML Ireland. These groups would love to see a future where cannabis products and the cultivation of cannabis seeds are legalized for personal use.
What Irish Law Says About Buying, Selling, Possessing and Growing Cannabis and Cannabis Seeds
Currently, cannabis is still considered to be illegal in Ireland.
The Misuse of Drugs act lists cannabis and all of its variations, including cultivated cannabis seeds, as a Schedule I substance. This means that it is legally clumped with various kinds of harder drugs. Though this is the case, the actual laws regarding marijuana use and possession are lighter for cannabis than other types of drugs listed within the act.
Under the Misuse of Drugs act, cannabis, cannabis seeds being actively grown regardless of size, and cannabis resin are all considered to be grounds for legal persecution.
While most countries are more concerned about the actual substance rather than resin, Irish law finds you guilty for possession of either. In fact, when you are found with either of these things, the police can and will charge you immediately, even if you don’t have a notable amount of marijuana on you.
While cannabis seeds themselves are considered to be legal at this point in time, cultivating them in any capacity is still currently illegal under Irish law. In other words, it’s legal to buy cannabis seeds from seed banks in Ireland — but it’s not legal to grow them.
How Marijuana Charges Work
The first thing that police will do when they catch you with marijuana is assess the situation to determine your intent with the substance.
Irish law is very focused around intents when it comes to marijuana because it can determine what they charge you with and how they approach it. The distinguishing factor is determining whether the cannabis was intended for personal use or distribution in any capacity.
In Ireland, the charges and repercussions for personal use in most cases are much lower than the ones for distribution or sale of marijuana, cultivation of marijuana seeds, or possession of marijuana derived products.
Punishment for Possessing Cannabis Products in Ireland
After it has been determined whether the marijuana at hand was intended for personal use or distribution, the police will refer to your record. People with previous charges of possession in any capacity can find themselves with higher charges and worse repercussions.
While a person being caught for the first time might just find themselves with a fine, a person who has been charged previously might end up in some pretty hot water.
In the event that it is determined that the marijuana was intended for personal use, the government can impose a Class D fine. The result of this is a fine that can be up to 2500 euros if the person is convicted on the charge.
While the amount might be unpleasant, this outcome is far better than risking jail time. This is also the outcome in the event that you receive a second possession of controlled drugs charge for cannabis possession.
Cannabis Seeds, Seed Banks, and the Assumption of Distribution
For those who are unfortunate enough to get any subsequent possession charges, Ireland treats this offense in the same way that it would a person who is caught growing or selling marijuana.
Cannabis seeds are cause for penalization in Ireland in the event that they are being used for cultivation purposes. Though you can possess the cannabis seeds from seed banks, growing them is an entirely different story.
Marijuana seeds are intended to be a novelty, not a viable drug source. Ireland has much stricter laws when it comes to distribution or cultivation of marijuana. The initial assessment includes a Class C fine, as well as up to 12 months of jail time.
However, depending on the severity of the situation and how much marijuana you are growing, the sentences can actually be left up to the courts. This means that the courts might determine if they want to charge you for the actual plants being grown for personal use or for sale.
This enables them to charge higher fines and impose up to 14 years in prison. It is not legal to personally cultivate marijuana or use cannabis seeds in this capacity. In fact, Irish law clumps marijuana cultivation in with the cultivation of opium poppies.
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Medical Marijuana Nearing Legalization
A major change surrounding cannabis law in Ireland is the fact that Simon Harris, the Minister for Health, has signed into law a pilot program for medical marijuana usage.
The exact details of this program have yet to be released, but it is said to last five years in total and will offer “compassionate access” to marijuana on a medical basis. The licenses and opportunities are only meant to be given to people who have not had success with other options including those with severe epilepsy or more severe problems.
The laws are currently being changed to allow for the creation of cannabis products so that the pilot trial can begin. This is paving the way for cannabis seeds from seed banks being used for personal cultivation to be allowed within Ireland.
Though Ireland might be a way offer from having local cannabis seed banks that can be actively purchased from, it could be an evolution of the medical marijuana legalization. A change like this would allow people to take their health into their own hands by using cannabis seeds to grow their own marijuana.
The Fight for Cannabis Legalization and the Irish Government
At its current point, the Irish government is showing very little interest in marijuana beyond the point of complete necessity and there has been no actual talk regarding cannabis seeds, seed banks, or personal marijuana cultivation.
Though the Minister for Health introducing the medical marijuana pilot program is certainly a step in the right direction, the general face of the Irish government is still far from tolerant when it comes to the idea of legalizing marijuana.
Earlier this year, rumors started circulating that Ireland was getting closer to legalizing marijuana but the Minister of Health was adamant that Ireland was nowhere near a complete legalization or decriminalization of cannabis use.
The Pro-Cannabis Groups Fighting for Legalization in Ireland
Ireland has a few groups like NORML Ireland that are pushing for the rights of cannabis users.
These groups are hoping to put pressure on the government to change cannabis laws through the power of petition. However, these groups are proving to have fairly low amounts of success to date. Still, the new medical marijuana pilot program does come as a win, regardless of how limited it is.
Opposite to the belief that cannabis and the growing of cannabis seeds should be legalized in the country, some groups of people are more focused on the belief that the potential loosening of cannabis laws would be a fairly large problem.
Some scientific experts in the community are upset by the idea that Ireland might someday become more tolerant of marijuana usage. These groups feel that cannabis is a gateway drug that might increase the risk of health problems among the people of Ireland.
Ireland’s Local Cannabis Industry
Since marijuana is completely illegal within Ireland, there is no true local industry for cannabis cultivation.
This means that there are currently no legal establishments to buy cannabis seeds from that are actually intended for cultivation. Since people are selling these seeds as novelties instead of viable products, there is no guarantee regarding what the seeds will ultimately yield in terms of quality.
Though people are undoubtedly cultivating and distributing weed, all of this is being done illegally. Cannabis seeds that are truly worthy of cultivation are likely going to come from black market sources.
While some countries are known for having more formal examples of local industries within the population, Ireland’s is completely underground. In order to produce or sell cannabis within Ireland, you must be in direct violation of marijuana law. Even getting growing plants for cannabis seeds is not something that can legally be done, regardless of whether or not the seeds themselves can be sold.
Ireland’s Homegrown Cannabis Economy
Despite the fact that cannabis and the cultivation of cannabis seeds are illegal in Ireland, there will always be people growing and providing it to willing customers.
These underground marijuana providers are operating in the same capacity that we might see anywhere else that cannabis is illegal. There are people who grow, import and sell marijuana as well as high-quality cannabis seeds that are ready to be grown and will suit your needs.
With the pilot program for medical marijuana use, the Irish government will be working with certain groups to cultivate marijuana and marijuana-derived products.
However, there are laws that must be changed before this can happen. It is currently unclear if people will be reimbursed for these products when they purchase them for medical purposes, or if they are just going to be expected to pay out of pocket.
There will be plenty of work to be done regarding the actual cultivation and distribution of cannabis to suit medical needs. Currently, it seems likely that the cannabis products will follow suit with the experimental cannabis derivatives and will be provided through doctors and pharmacies.