Children suffering severe epilepsy will be among the first to be treated using a variety of non smokable marijuana products.

“Children with severe epilepsy will now be able to legally access this lifesaving treatment from as early as 2017,” said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

“It is absolutely heart breaking to see families having to choose between breaking the law and watching their children suffer — and now, thanks to our ground breaking legislation, they won’t have to.”

The new law means that patients suffering severe epileptic seizures, muscle spasms resulting from multiple sclerosis, severe pain and nausea arising from cancer or HIV/AIDS or chronic pain approved by two specialists will be able to legally access medicinal cannabis in exceptional circumstances.