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Flanagan Unveils Cannabis Regulation Bill

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Independent TD Luke Flanagan has unveiled details of the Cannabis Regulation Bill 2013, which he will present to his Dáil colleagues on November 6.

The unveiling came at the launch of NORML Ireland , a group which seeks to gain recognition for the rights of people to peacefully pursue activities relating to cannabis without unwarranted intervention by the authorities.

Founded in 1970 in the USA, NORML is an international organisation representing cannabis consumers worldwide. NORML IRELAND is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation working for more research into the benefits of the uses of the cannabis plant for all purposes. They aim to provide a support network to those seeking the normalisation of cannabis consumption and to influence a positive transformation to laws enabling responsible medical, spiritual, recreational and industrial uses in the Ireland.

The key points of Roscommon native Flanagan’s bill are :

• The purpose of the bill is to provide for the regulation of cannabis for recreational and medicinal use.
• The Cannabis regulation authority will be set up by the Justice Minister to regulate cultivation, sale, labelling, advertising and marketing of cannabis.
• Provide for a licence system for commercial, home and cannabis social club cultivation to be controlled by the authority.
• Cannabis Research Institute to be established by the Minister to conduct or commission research in respect of cannabis along with educating the public on its effects.
• Home cultivation of cannabis allowed with licence – 6 plants maximum.
• Personal possession of up to one ounce (28.35g)
• Cannabis Social Club model introduced which supplies members with not for profit cannabis in a community setting. (Max 50 members/300 plants)
• Licences granted for sale of cannabis include – Cannabis Wholesale Licence, Cannabis Retail Store Licence, Medicinal Cannabis Retail Licence, Cannabis Coffee Shop Licence and a Cannabis Social Club Licence.
• Regulations require cannabis to be grown without additives, which will be prescribed by the Minister. Alcohol, Nicotine and Caffeine are also prohibited.
• No children allowed on licenced premises related to cannabis. It will remain an offense for children to possess cannabis.
• Cannabis must be clearly labelled with chemical, dietary and product information.
• Advertising will be stricter than current alcohol advertising.
• Tax revenue from cannabis will fund drug addiction services, medical research and juvenile education courses on drug abuse.
• A requirement is set for Justice Minister and Agricultural Minister to examine the feasibility of the safe regulation and controlled use of hemp.

 Image courtesy of breakingnews.ie

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