Cultivation of hemp and ketum for medicinal purposes receives approval from Malaysian Cabinet
A memorandum based on the findings of a public forum titled "Sustainable Future of the Medical Cannabis, Industrial Hemp and kratom (Ketum) asserts that the Malaysian Cabinet has no objection to cultivation for medical purposes.
Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia said that this indicated that the Cabinet had given the "green light" and that this was good news for people working in the medical field.
In a report by Sinar Harian on Sunday, April 24, Zahidi reportedly said discussions would take place on the matter with Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
While studies conducted by the Department of Health have shown that ketum extracts have antimalarial and antimutagenic effects, which prevent cells from undergoing cancer-causing changes, research focusing on its safety needs to be conducted for its long-term use.
“However, I would like to emphasize that this is not an approval for the simple consumption of kratom water, but only for its use in the medical field. The public should not be confused”
Zahidi added that the demand for hemp is high in the international market and there are currently three countries that are the main producers of hemp. The Department of Health has so far conducted studies on medical marijuana and its effectiveness.
The Ministry of Health has, however, asserted that products containing cannabis should be registered with the Medicines Control Authority (DCA), as required by the Medicines and Cosmetics Control Regulations 1984 under the Act. on the sale of drugs.
“If Malaysia becomes the fourth supplier, the market is very big and the profits can also be high. 4000m2 of hemp can fetch over RM3000, while 4 hectares can fetch at least RM30000,” he said.
On April 12, the Medical Cannabis Caucus (MCC) said it held a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to discuss policy issues related to the hemp industry, medical cannabis and ketum for use in Malaysia.
He added that the Prime Minister had given a positive response to the issues raised and that the matter would be further discussed at a Cabinet meeting.
“As we know, these two things have been hotly debated (ketum, marijuana/cannabis) for years and we don't want to restrict people, but there aren't enough studies. This requires further research. If it is beneficial, surely we would like to authorize it so that people can use it.