Malaysia set to allow the import and use of medical cannabis

Medical cannabis will require a prescription and will only be allowed to be prescribed by registered medical practitioners or licensed pharmacists. Says Cannabis Health News article

Malaysia is set to allow the import and use of medical cannabis if the products comply with government regulations.

Medical cannabis will require a prescription and will only be allowed to be prescribed by registered medical practitioners or licensed pharmacists. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin outlined his response during parliamentary questions.

The minister highlighted that current laws do not prohibit the use of cannabis products for medical reasons. This was in response to a question on Malaysia’s view of cannabis alternatives for patients raised by Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

The products would need to be registered with the Drug Control Authority (DCA) as prescribed by the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation. Importers would be required to hold permits and licenses.

Sativex in Malaysia

There is one problem, Malaysia currently has no registered cannabis-based treatment.

The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory agency (NPRA) approved Sativex in 2014 for patients experiencing muscle spasms and spasticity from multiple sclerosis.  However, it was later withdrawn from the Malaysian market after three years.

Asia’s medical cannabis market could be worth around $5.8 billion by 2024, according to a report published in 2020 by Prohibition Partners.

Malaysia and Thailand.

Malaysia is not the first Asian country to allow medical cannabis.

Thailand was the first to update its narcotic laws to allow medical cannabis in 2018. Although recreational cannabis still has not been approved. Some clinics also offer cannabis oil for free to patients.

Earlier in November, The Public Health Ministry in Thailand has just signed an agreement with Rx Leaf World Medica to establish an international medical cannabis research centre. The centre will combine doctors, scientists, pharmacists and cannabis experts to conduct research.

In a press event, public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul said that the ministry would promote medical cannabis to help people access treatment safely and within the law. He also highlighted that the ministry would aim to promote Thailand as a great location for cannabis production and development.

“In 2022, the Public Health Ministry will focus on promoting Thai herbs and wisdom in order to create jobs, generate revenue and improve patients’ quality of life.”
However, there have been some media reports which suggest that the formula that is available through the clinic is not of a high enough quality and that they have returned to the illegal market.

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