Medical cannabis patients need no longer travel to Netherlands for medication

Delivery service established in April due to Covid-19 to be made permanent

Dutch authorities have forbidden the commercial export of cannabis oils but will allow the filling of individual prescriptions from EU states. Photograph: iStock

Dutch authorities have forbidden the commercial export of cannabis oils but will allow the filling of individual prescriptions from EU states. Photograph: iStock

 

Patients who are prescribed medical cannabis products will no longer need to travel to the Netherlands to collect their medication, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said.

A delivery service from the Netherlands to Ireland to assist patients of licensed clinicians in obtaining their prescribed cannabis products, which was established in April 2020 on a temporary basis due to the Covid-19 restrictions on travel, is now to be made permanent.

The Department of Health said on Sunday that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, patients or their family members travelled to the Netherlands to collect their medical cannabis prescriptions. It said authorities in the Netherlands have forbidden the commercial export of cannabis oils but will allow the filling of individual prescriptions from EU states.

Mr Donnelly said that many patients and their families had shared stories with him and Department of Health officials about how the initiative had made a huge improvement to their lives.

“They spoke about the stress of having to travel regularly and the associated health risks with that, as well as their concerns that they would run out of their medication.”

“I am so pleased that these problems will now be a thing of the past for them. There will no longer be a need for them to travel abroad in order to collect their prescribed cannabis products. Instead, they can focus on their health and wellbeing. The welfare of patients and their families comes first and I am happy to reassure them that they will no longer have to personally source their prescriptions.”

The Minister said that officials in the Department of Health would finalise the arrangements in respect of how the collection and delivery service would work on a permanent basis into the future.