Import and use of medical marijuana products authorized in Malaysia if legal requirements are met according to Khairy
Malaysia will allow the import and use of cannabis for medical purposes if the products comply with government regulations, Malaysiakini reports, citing Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
The sale of medical marijuana will require a prescription and can only be done by a licensed physician or licensed pharmacist, a declared Khairy in a written response to parliamentary questions on Tuesday.
Products containing cannabis must be registered with the country's Medicines Control Authority, and importers are required to have import licenses and permits.
Vendors with sufficient scientific evidence to use cannabis for medicinal purposes can request that their product be evaluated by the Medicines Control Authority so that it can be marketed in Malaysia, Khairy said.
If the plan is officially approved, Malaysia will follow countries like Thailand, Canada and Uruguay that allow medical marijuana. A majority of US states also allow it.
The import and use of products containing cannabis for medical purposes is allowed in Malaysia provided they comply with the law, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Mr Khairy said the current laws - the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, the Poisons Act 1952, and the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 - do not prohibit the use of products containing cannabis for medical purposes.
He was responding to Muar Syed Saddiq MP Syed Abdul Rahman who asked Mr. Khairy what Malaysia's position was on using hemp or medical marijuana as an alternative for patients, as implemented in many countries and recognized by the international medical community.
Mr Khairy said that any product containing cannabis must be registered with the Medicines Control Authority (DCA), as provided for in the 1984 Regulation on the Control of Medicines and Cosmetics.
“Importers are also required to have an import license and permit under the Drug and Cosmetic Control Regulations, the Poisons Act as well as the Dangerous Drugs Act.
"The sale or retail supply for the medical treatment of selected patients must be carried out by a doctor registered under the Medical Act 1971 or by a registered pharmacist with a Type A license to certain persons on the basis of 'prescriptions issued by registered doctors,' he added.
He stated that any party that has sufficient scientific evidence to use cannabis (hemp) for medicinal purposes can submit an application to register the product to DCA for evaluation and registration under the Medicines Control Regulations 1984 and cosmetics.
Mr. Khairy said cannabis is also regulated by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and is listed in Annex I of the convention.
This convention aims to limit the possession, use, trade, distribution, import, export, manufacture and production of drugs exclusively for medical and scientific purposes.
Speaking later on Twitter, Mr. Syed Saddiq said he was "really impressed" by the response given by Khairy and his team at the ministry.
“Data-driven and science-based decision making,” he said.
Mr. Syed Saddiq, former Minister of Youth and Sports, heads a bipartisan parliamentary group studying the medical uses of cannabis and kratom which is a local plant.
The parliamentary group had previously said it was seeking to develop policies and strategies to regulate the use of kratom and cannabis in order to reduce the risks.
The group said its work in efforts to develop the medical marijuana and kratom industries in Malaysia, which it believes can be beneficial to the country's health sector as well as to its inhabitants.
Interior Minister Hamzah Zainudin told parliament in early October that the government was considering legalizing the use of medical marijuana.
Currently, cannabis is considered a controlled drug under the Dangerous Drugs Act.