Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Agriculture Schemes

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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131. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his proposals to support producers of hemp in the State. [16818/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Hemp is currently included as an eligible crop under the Basic Payment Scheme implemented by my Department. Any producer who grows hemp in Ireland, who has a licence issued by the Minister for Health, is entitled to apply for payment on his/her entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme.

My Department is currently finalising the report on the consultation, in line with a commitment given in the current Programme for Government, to “fully explore the potential for growing fibre crops such as hemp, considering whether these crops have a viable market”. The report of the consultation is near completion and once I have considered the findings I will be able to make a determination regarding the future viability of growing hemp for fibre in Ireland and whether any additional supports are warranted.

The Deputy will be aware that Cannabis, which includes hemp is listed in Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2017 (S.I. No 173 of 2017), as amended, which means it is subject to the strictest level of control. It is an offence in Ireland to cultivate, import, export, produce, supply and possess cannabis except in accordance with a license issued by the Minister for Health. I do not propose any additional supports for the cultivation of hemp.


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