As more and more businesses begin to sell CBD, the need for clarity surrounding the law has never been more necessary Is CBD Oil Legal in Ireland? CBD oil is made from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the hemp plant – Cannabis Sativa. It’s a natural product with many beneficial properties that are being studied
Irish CBD laws are hurting business owners
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD or hemp, is becoming increasingly popular in its use as a treatment for arthritis, insomnia, anxiety, pain relief and inflammation.
However, it is currently placed in a precarious position within Irish law. Tethering in a legal grey area, the need for new legislation is now becoming ever more apparent.
CBD business in Ireland
Currently, cannabidiol is underpinned by the Misuse of Drugs Act. Under EU law, however, products containing under 0.2 per cent tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis), can be sold throughout the EU under European Regulation – resulting in a lack of legal clarity impacting businesses selling the product.
Little Collins, an Irish company that opened in 2018 by the husband-and-wife team, JP O’Brien and Ide Clancy, has felt the brunt of this lack of legal clarity surrounding CBD, experiencing its impact first-hand.
The company sells Hemp-derived products including Hemp flowers. Little Collins currently has a café in Kilkenny and Galway. JP told Buzz that “when Little Collins opened its first store in November 2018, we were given express permission from all the relevant authorities (Gardai, HSE/HPRA, FSAI, etc) that what we were doing was 100 per cent legal and no problems were raised.
“All our products are double-lab tested from independent testing centres and we would always ask for these lab reports to be produced before we buy any of the products/ingredients.”
Despite the extensive testing, due to the ambiguity in the law, he said, “our stores, home, and on two occasions in 2020 our customers’ homes have been raided by the national police force – An Garda Siochana. They have wiped our shelves clean and have questioned our staff at both our stores”.
Little Collins said Gardaí seized the product under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977. The act regards all preparations of cannabis, irrespective of their chemical components, as illegal.
The legal issue arises from an EU regulation that permits the growing of hemp where tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content does not exceed 0.2 per cent.
Although this regulation is in direct effect in Ireland, as EU law takes precedent, the Misuse of Drugs Act has no distinction in place to determine whether a concentration of less than 0.2 per cent of THC still constitutes a controlled substance.
“This would not have happened if Ireland’s cannabidiol regulations aligned with current policies put forth by the European Union. The unethical, aggressive, and duplicitous behaviour of the Irish government these last three years is galling to all those who witness it,” the business owner said.
JP jokingly added, “but as our solicitor says, you’d hardly be much of a criminal if you moved 17,000km across the world from Australia to start this business – then let everyone know via email and phone calls exactly what crime you were about to commit!”
While Little Collins sells CBD to its customers, other Irish businesses are more reluctant to, for fear of legal repercussions.
Richard Walsh, the owner of Tropic Lights, a Limerick-based company that sells CBD-derived products, such as balms and oils, told Buzz, “We sell some of the oils but we try not to dabble in any of the flowers or the concentrates because there might be a legal issue with THC content”.
“If I knew that there was no fear for the shop and for the customers then absolutely we would have no problem stocking these items,” he added.
“We have a lot of different types of people (who use our products). A lot of them would be athletes who use CBD balms for reducing inflammation or muscle pains,” Richard continued, discussing the people who use his products.
“People with sleep issues use it also. They find if they take it an hour or two before bed they get a solid night’s sleep from it,” he said.
CBD and the law
Niamh Kelly, a solicitor at Michael J Staines & Company said in an article that the laws surrounding CBD are “complicated and a legislative minefield in Ireland.”
CBD is covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act. Irish law, which states that any preparation of the plant is illegal, is in direct contrast to EU law, which states that CBD with under 0.2 per cent THC can be sold throughout the EU.
The Misuse of Drugs Act states, “‘Cannabis’ (except in cannabis resin’) means any plant of the genus cannabis or any part of any such plant (by whatever name designated) but includes neither cannabis resin nor any of the following products after separation from the rest of any such plant, namely –
(a) the mature stalk of any such plant
(b) fibre produced from such mature stalk, or
(c) seed of any such plant.’”
The act makes various substances controlled, such as cannabinol, except where contained in cannabis, cannabis resin and cannabinol derivatives.
However, the act does not contain any distinction on the limit of the amount of THC that must be present for a substance to be controlled.
The confusion seems to arise as the Misuse of Drugs Acts, 1977 as amended is silent on whether amounts of less than 0.2 per cent constitute a controlled substance.
Food Safety Authority Of Ireland
Further confusion in the law presents itself in the disconnect between State Authorities and regulatory bodies. It is the position of the Revenue Commissioners that any substance containing any amount of THC is illegal to import. Due to this, any imports of CBD are treated as cannabis imports and as such subject to search and seizure under Section 34(1) of the Customs Act, 2015.
This in itself shows that CBD is considered wholly illegal in Ireland, however, The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), allows for the sale of CBD oil if it is extracted by cold pressing, an uncommon method which leads to low-grade oils.
On the FSAI website, it is stated that “under license from the Department of Health and facilitated by the Health Products Regulatory Authority, certain varieties of hemp can be grown in Ireland.”
According to the FSAI, some CBD oils and balms are classified as novel foods. A novel food is a food or food ingredient that was not available on the EU market to a significant degree before 15 May 1997.
This means that, for example, if a licence is granted by the Health Products Regulatory Authority, for the sale of CBD containing less than 0.2 per cent THC, a business importing CBD from the EU would be liable to have the product seized by Revenue, where it is the stance that any amount of CBD is a controlled substance.
The Department of Revenue told Buzz, “When the results are positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the products are detained and seized by Revenue under the Customs Act 2015.
“In relation to every seizure, the consignee has the right to make a valid claim seeking the return of the seized product.
“Where this happens, an investigation is carried out and a decision is reached.”
Increasingly, CBD is falling more and more into the mainstream with a growing number of people turning to the plant for pain relief, among other health benefits. However, the ambiguity in the law is hampering investment and deterring prospective businesses from developing.
As the demand for CBD as a health product continues to grow throughout Ireland, the need for legislative clarity surrounding the matter has never been greater.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Ireland?
CBD oil is made from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the hemp plant – Cannabis Sativa. It’s a natural product with many beneficial properties that are being studied extensively. CBD oil is not psychoactive and will not make you “high”. This means it’s a great option for people looking for the potential benefits of cannabis without the side effects. The legal status of CBD oil in Ireland is a bit of a grey area.
Cannabis with high amounts of THC is illegal in Ireland, but CBD oil is not specifically mentioned in the Misuse of Drugs Act. This means that technically, it’s not illegal to possess or use CBD oil.
However, the sale of CBD oil is not currently regulated in Ireland. This means that there is no quality control in place and no guarantee that the CBD oil you’re buying is safe or effective.
This is why at Dr. Hemp Me we focus on Trust. How we do this is by testing every single batch of our CBD oil for not only cannabinoids but metals and chemicals as well. If you’re thinking of using CBD oil, it’s important to do your research and speak to one of our CBD experts.
Is Full Spectrum legal?
Yes. Full-spectrum CBD oil is legal in Ireland as it only contains trace amounts of THC (less than 0.2% to be exact), the psychoactive component of cannabis. This means it will not make you “high”.
When did CBD oil become legal in Ireland?
CBD oil became legal in Ireland on December 1st, 2018. This change in legislation was a direct result of the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) decision that CBD oil is not a narcotic drug. This decision was based on the fact that CBD oil does not contain any THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. This ruling opened the door for CBD oil to be sold throughout the European Union.
Is CBD a drug in Ireland?
CBD itself is not seen as a drug in Ireland. Where the lines are blurred are due to the misuse of the drugs act and THC.
Misuse of Drugs Act 1977
The Misuse of Drugs Act was put in place to stop the illegal use of drugs, however, it also covers substances that are not currently in an illegal grey area. THC is seen as a drug by this act and is, therefore, not currently legal in Ireland. The misuse of drugs act is currently being reviewed and it is hoped that CBD with trace amounts of THC will be legalised in the near future.
Is it legal to grow hemp in Ireland?
Yes, it is legal to grow hemp in Ireland. The Irish government has been supportive of the growth of the hemp industry in the country with HPRA helping farmers get started.
How the Hemp Cooperative of Ireland works is that farmers join and then work together to grow, process and market their hemp products. The cooperative also provides training and support to farmers so they can grow hemp crops. The benefits of growing hemp are many.
The plant is a great source of sustainable building materials, as well as being used for food, fuel, and even clothing. Hemp has a very low carbon footprint and is therefore very environmentally friendly. So, if you’re thinking of starting a hemp farm in Ireland, go for it! It’s a great way to be sustainable and support your local economy.
Is CBD Oil legal in Northern Ireland?
CBD oil is legal in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, but only if it is derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved. CBD oil can be derived from either marijuana or industrial hemp, and while marijuana is still illegal in the UK, industrial hemp is not.
However, the industrial hemp must contain less than 0.2% THC in order to be legal, and CBD oil derived from it must also contain less than 0.2% THC. CBD oil is not currently regulated in the UK or Northern Ireland, but the government is considering doing so.
In the meantime, CBD oil is widely available online and in health food stores. However, it is important to buy CBD oil from a reputable source, as there is no guarantee of quality or safety if you buy it from a less than reputable source.
Can you drive if you take CBD Oil?
A common question people ask is whether they can drive after taking CBD oil. The simple answer is yes, but there are a few things you should know.
First, while CBD oil is not intoxicating, it can cause drowsiness in some people. If you feel drowy after taking CBD oil, it is best to avoid driving.
Second, CBD oil can interact with certain medications. If you are taking any medication, it is important to check with your doctor before taking CBD oil.
Third, CBD oil can affect your ability to concentrate. If you are taking CBD oil and find it difficult to focus, it is best to avoid driving.
Fourth, CBD oil can make you more sensitive to sunlight. If you are taking CBD oil and find yourself feeling dizzy or lightheaded in sunlight, it is best to avoid driving.
Overall, it is safe to drive after taking CBD oil, but there are a few things you should be aware of. If you are taking medication, check with your doctor first. If you are feeling drowsy, dizzy, or lightheaded, it is best to avoid driving.
Can I bring Cannabidiol into Ireland?
While the Irish government has not yet legalized CBD oil fully, it is possible to bring it into the country for personal use. CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant. It contains little to no THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.
If you are interested in bringing CBD oil into Ireland for personal use, it is important to do your research. Make sure to purchase your CBD oil from a reputable source and check the CBD content to ensure it meets Irish standards. You should also be aware that CBD oil is subject to the same customs regulations as other oils and liquids.
When travelling with CBD oil, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Keep your CBD oil in its original packaging and declare it to customs officials when you arrive in Ireland. This will help to ensure that you do not face any legal issues when bringing CBD.
Will CBD show up in a drug test?
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound however, depending on the type of CBD oil it may have trace amounts of THC. Because THC is a cannabinoid, there is a small chance that it could show up in a drug test. If you are concerned about this, it is best to speak to your employer or the company administering the test.
Is CBD oil available with THC in Ireland?
Yes, CBD oil with THC is available in Ireland but only in trace amounts. The legal limit for THC in CBD oil in Ireland is 0.2%. If you are looking for the THC level to be higher, you will have to buy this oil off the black market which we do not encourage as quality can be very questionable.