Malaysia has agreed to allow kratom and cannabis cultivation. Initially, the county’s cannabis will only be for export; Malaysia still does not permit the use or consumption of cannabis, even if only for medical purposes. However, growing overseas adoption of pro-cannabis policies is having an impact on attitudes, and it is increasingly likely coming legislation will reverse the situation.
Malaysia’s Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister, has agreed to allow kratom and cannabis cultivation for medical purposes.
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Cannabis Cultivation a New Priority
Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the cabinet had no objections and instructed his ministry to discuss with Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin how best to go about approving the cultivation process.
“This is an excellent development, especially for those working in the medical field. But I would like to reiterate that any endorsement is for medicinal purposes and not for recreational use,” Mr. Zahidi said as quoted by Utusan Malaysia.
Strong Overseas Demand
Zahidi noted that there was strong overseas demand for kratom and cannabis cultivation due to their medicinal qualities. Due to this, he was confident Cabinet would soon approve their therapeutic use in Malaysia as the local culture was, for the moment, limited for export.
After holding a meeting earlier this month, Malaysia’s Parliamentary Medical Cannabis Caucus said its cabinet’s attention would be on policy issues concerning the development of the hemp, kratom, and cannabis cultivation industry.
Neighbouring Cannabis Cultivation
The meeting, attended by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, acknowledged that many countries have highly-developed cannabis cultivation industries, including neighboring Thailand.
Earlier, Khairy said his ministry was ready to collaborate with industry players or academia to conduct research on the medical use of cannabis. Theoretically, the medical use of cannabis is not prohibited in Malaysia, but due to a lack of local cannabis cultivation, access to it is complicated.
Pending Approval for Malaysian Use of Local Cannabis Cultivation
The president of the Malaysian Medical Association, Dr. Koh Kar Chai, said local experts must now review all available evidence on medical cannabis and its feasibility must be studied and assessed before a decision is made.
“It’s not something that can be decided overnight,” he told The Sun.
Dr. Koh said that apart from scientific evidence, the government must consider cannabis cultivation licensing and regulations and legislation for the responsible sale and consumption of medical cannabis if approved by authorities.
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