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South Korea To Allow Medical Cannabis Imports Starting In March

South Korea To Allow Medical Cannabis Imports Starting In March

Almost three months after the legalization of medical marijuana, the South Korean government is moving forward and plans to allow imports of weed starting next month.

What Happened

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Tuesday that the National Assembly passed a bill to amend a law that would allow imports and exports of non-hallucinogenic doses of medical marijuana. 

In November, the country's National Assembly voted on amendments to the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs after the country's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said in July that it would allow patients to be prescribed the cannabis-based drugs Epidiolex, Marinol, Cesamet and Sativex for a number of conditions including epilepsy and HIV/AIDS.

Why It's Important

Tuesday's news represents a small step for marijuana in South Korea. Despite the legalization, access to medical marijuana will be restricted and decided on a case-by-case basis. Patients will be required to apply to the Korea Orphan Drug Center and will need a prescription from a doctor.

The country also maintains some of the strictest recreational consumption laws, with citizens risking prosecution even if they consume cannabis in other countries where weed is legal. 

What's Next

The law takes effect March 12. In the meantime, The Organization of Legalizing Medical Cannabis in Korea — a lobbying and advocacy group created last year — plans to persuade the government to expand the number of diseases that would qualify a patient to receive medical marijuana. 

Related Links:

Thailand Breaks Medical Marijuana Barrier In Southeast Asia

Israel To Allow Medical Marijuana Exports


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Posted-In: medical marijuana pot South Korea South Korean National AssemblyCannabis Government Regulations Markets Best of Benzinga

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