Japan urged to consider medical cannabinoid imports 

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A panel set up by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is recommending that the nation’s lawmakers carve out a legal pathway to import scientifically proven medical cannabinoids, similar to the approach South Korea took about four years ago.

The panel recommended Japan revise its drug laws to facilitate legal access to cannabinoid-based medicines whose efficacy was proven, Reuters and Bloomberg reported.

The panel is not recommending the country adopt a law to allow access to dried flower containing THC.

South Korea did something similar in 2018, when the country’s National Assembly approved the Amendment to the Narcotics Control Act to allow for medical cannabinoid prescriptions.

At the time, South Korea was the first country in East Asia to lay a legal and regulatory foundation for medical cannabinoids.

South Korea’s law allowed patients in the country to access medicines such as Cesamet, Epidiolex, Marinol and Sativex for conditions including epilepsy, symptoms of HIV/AIDS and cancer-related treatments.

The legal revision recommended by the Japanese health ministry panel would also help patients access medicines such as the cannabis-derived epilepsy drug Epidiolex.