In July of 2018 the South Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety made a statement that they would begin to permit certain types of cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals to be used for the treatment of conditions such as HIV, epilepsy, and cancer. At that time, they said that they would permit the use of Sativex, Epidiolex, and Marinol.

Just recently however on November 23rd, the ministry announced that they had amended a series of laws in the National Assembly session. A set of laws that would offer additional cannabinoid-based treatment opportunities for patients with terminal and rare illnesses.

Congratulations South Korea

At this time South Korea has become the very first country in East Asia to legalize medical cannabis. This is not only a significant victory for the global legalization movement but also for the industry as a whole and for the potential momentum it provides for the movement going forward.

The National Assembly voted to amend the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs which will open the door for patients to use non-hallucinogenic amounts of medically prescribed cannabis pharmaceuticals.

It Will be Restrictive But it Will Exist

For now the program will be highly restricted and only permits the use of low THC products such as the ones that they previously allowed. Patients who would like to utilize these medicines must apply with the Korean orphan drug center to see if they are eligible to receive access to medical cannabis. This organization was established to help patients gain access to non-traditional medicine.

Approval to cannabinoid-based medicines will be granted only on a case-by-case basis. Once receiving approval from the Korean Orphan Drug Center patients will also be required to receive a recommendation for medical cannabis from a licensed medical practitioner in the country.

It’s Only a Matter of Time

With other countries in Asia such as Malaysia and Thailand looking at the possibility of also legalizing medical cannabis chances are it won't be long before other countries in the region begin to reform their laws surrounding cannabis as well. Like Vijay Sappani, the CEO of Ela Capital stated in an article with MJ Biz Daily;

"The importance of (South) Korea being the first country in East Asia to allow medical cannabis at a federal level should not be underestimated. Now it's a matter of when other Asian countries follow South Korea, not if."

  Posted: Tuesday, November 27th, 2:51pm 18 days ago
Profile PictureWritten By: Ashley Priest

Ashley is a freelance cannabis writer and the co-owner of CannaLance. Her passion for sharing education and truth surrounding cannabis stems from a personal loss. Ashley has always had an elevated relationship with cannabis but it wasn't until 2015 that she turned that passion and relationship into a career as a cannabis writer.

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