A pilot programme which will allow access to cannabis-based products for medical use is to be launched by the Minister for Health.
Legislation allowing the Medical Cannabis Access Programme to operate in this country, will be signed by Minister Simon Harris this morning.
Work on the establishment of the programme was initiated two years ago, following an examination by the Health Products Regulatory Authority.
It suggested that cannabis-based products be made available to some patients with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, and people suffering nausea in chemotherapy.
Currently, there are no medical cannabis products available in Ireland and this programme will operate on a pilot basis for five years.
The legislation means that commercial operators whose cannabis products meet the specified requirements will be able to supply products to the Irish market.
The programme will make it possible for a medical consultant to prescribe a cannabis-based treatment in some cases where patients fail to respond to standard treatment.