Medical cannabis bill advances in South Korea

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A revised law to permit the use of medical marijuana in South Korea is scheduled for review by key lawmakers in the Legislative Welfare Committee later this month, the first real test for the bill since its introduction in the legislature two months ago.

It has been in committee review since February and still faces a long road.

An official with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said the push will be to conclude the measure in the National Assembly later this year, according to The Korea Times.

If the law wins approval, it would represent a major breakthrough in Asia and mark a significant milestone in the global medical cannabis industry.

Rep. Shin Chang-hyun of the ruling Democratic Party introduced the bill, which would revise the Act on the Control of Narcotics.

The bill would allow patients to get a medical cannabis prescription from a medical practitioner, but it would require authorization from the commissioner of the Korea Food and Drug Administration on a case-by-case basis.

The bill would not allow for domestic cultivation, so MMJ would have to be imported from places such as Australia or Canada.

A member of the Organization of Legalizing Medical Cannabis in Korea said public sentiment is shifting toward the acceptance of MMJ.

“When I talk to people, few disagree with legalizing cannabis for healing people,” Kang Sung-suk told the newspaper.

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