THERE’S been plenty of quips in recent days about County Wexford Chamber of Commerce doing their bit to grow small businesses, after it appeared that a cannabis plant had been growing in the car park at the front of their building off Hill Street in Wexford town for a number of weeks.
The plant, which has now been removed, was brought to the attention of Sinn Féin councillor Tom Forde, who said the majority of people certainly seemed to see the funny side of it.
"A few people had contacted me and sent on photos of the plant to me,” he said. “I went down and had a look myself and it definitely appeared to be a cannabis plant by look and smell anyway. I think a lot of people saw the funny side of it due to the location outside the Chamber offices. I had people jokingly messaging me asking if this was a new approach to small businesses!”
The identity of the green-fingered grower still seems unclear.
"I’m not sure how it ended up there," Cllr Forde said. “I don’t know if it was seeds were dropped or if somebody was chancing their arm, but I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if any more spring up around town.”
From Wexford Chamber’s point of view, CEO Emma Dunphy was also mystified.
"I don’t know what the story with it was, whether it just resembled it or if it was the real deal, I didn’t see it myself,” she said. “Maybe it was somebody playing a trick or something like that. We had the whole building painted in recent weeks and a bit of landscaping done with new compost in the planters and that kind of thing. It’s certainly not something that we planted anyway, but of course I can understand that people would make light of it.”
Cllr Forde also used the amusing story as an opportunity to raise a discussion around legalisation of cannabis.
"One thing that struck me too was that a lot of people commented on how the laws around this type of thing are very draconian," he said. “It does highlight the need for greater discussion on legalisation. I think the laws we have now are not evidence based and are rather moral based. It’s probably inevitable that we will see decriminalisation of cannabis eventually, but I’d like to see it legalised for medicinal use at very least. I plan on raising this within the party going forward too.”