Another important area of discussion involved the potential organising a major showcase event in Ireland in 2017 taking the form of a Hemp Expo . Reference was made to the Berlin Hemp Fest and the World Hemp Congress in this regard. There was general agreement that the group requires further information on what has been done elsewhere to inform its decision making regarding this interesting idea, about which there appeared to be general support at this early stage. Potential timeframes for running such an event were discussed. It was suggested that November 2017 might be a suitable time, as it would suit tillage farmers, i.e. after harvest time. It was suggested that a trade fair in Dublin in 2017 would show Irish farmers, industry and the general public just what is possible from a Hemp economy. The Royal Dublin Society facility was suggested as a possible venue, particularly given its agricultural origins and purpose.
On the 15th December last, the first meeting of the Irish Hemp Working Group took place. Representatives from across the Hemp industry in Ireland met at 167 Capel Street to discuss areas of mutual interest. It was unanimously agreed by the parties present to establish an Irish Hemp Society. Representatives also considered the current state of Hemp production in Ireland. The group discussed its shared knowledge of the Hemp industry and its relatively low starting base. There was general agreement that more information is required on (i) the quality of Hemp currently being produced in Ireland, whether seed or fibre, and (ii) the number of licenses granted in Ireland for the production of Hemp. There was also general agreement that the group should further discuss how it can engage with existing Hemp farmers in Ireland and also with the wider farming/ agricultural sector. The idea of organising a farmer survey was raised. A number of studies about Hemp production in Ireland were cited. There was general agreement that the group requires further information on these studies and their conclusions.