Malaysia’s cannabis market is beginning to expand now that the country is looking for legal importation of medical cannabis. In a media release, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin stated that the import and use of cannabis products “for medical purposes” are allowed in the country, but only if Malaysia abides by the law.
He continued that under Malaysia’s current laws – the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Poisons Act 1952, and the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 – nowhere does it state that products containing cannabis for medical purposes are illegal.
Now that the international medical community sheds light on the positive benefits of medical marijuana, more governments are looking to implement the plant into their medical programs. When Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman asked Mr. Khairy about Malaysia’s perspective on hemp use and medical marijuana as an alternative to other medicines, he said it’s been legal for quite some time.
That said, Mr. Khairy mentioned that any product containing cannabis must be registered with the Drug Control Authority (DCA) as prescribed by the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1984. He followed that all importers require “licenses and an import permit” under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation, the Poisons Act, and the Dangerous Drugs Act.
In addition, other legal precautions must be taken. Mr. Khairy added that the sale and retail supply of medical treatment for patients must be prescribed by a medical practitioner “registered under the Medical Act 1971” or a registered pharmacist who obtains a Type A license to give medicine to patients prescribed by registered medical practitioners.
Anyone who obtains scientific or medical evidence to use cannabis as an alternative to other medicines may submit an application to register a cannabis product with the DCA. It will then be evaluated and registered under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1984.
Although Malaysia is slowly changing its perspective on cannabis, it’s still heavily regulated. Mr. Khairy mentioned that cannabis is also regulated under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, listed under the convention’s Schedule I category. The convention is known to limit the possession, trade-in, use, distribution, importation, exportation, manufacturing, and production of drugs for sole medical and scientific purposes.
Following the media release, Mr. Syed Saddiq wrote on Twitter that he was “really impressed” with Khairy’s response alongside his team at the ministry. He also wrote that the “Data & science-driven decision-making process” will bring Malaysian patients the medical help they need.