Ireland: "Growing hemp could be good for Donegal farmers"

Donegal farmers have a golden opportunity to become major players in the production of medicinal cannabis.

Industrial hemp can be legally grown in Ireland under licence from the Department of Health for a range of uses, including for fibre, food and feed. The industry has been slow to take off due largely to a lack of processing infrastructure.

There has been an increase of hemp farming licenses and it is estimated that there are up to 100 people growing the crop.
With CBD (Cannabidiol oil, the plant extract from hemp which is meant to help with mental health issues as well as autism, heart problems, skin problems) and seed products increasing in popularity, farmers in Donegal are looking at how they can unlock the potential of hemp growing.

Barry Caslin is a Teagasc Energy and Rural Development Specialist. He outlined some of the values and uses of hemp at this month’s meeting of the Donegal County Council Agriculture Committee.
Members heard that hemp can be grown successfully in Ireland, with high stem yields of adequate material. While there is a 70-acre hemp farm operating in North Leitrim and others producing hemp oil in Tipperary and Wicklow there are no farmers growing the crop in Donegal.

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