Malaysia’s health minister agrees to allow the import and consumption of medical cannabis

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Malaysia’s Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin, has announced that the import and use of medical cannabis products is allowed in the beach and rainforest-speckled country.

The Southeast Asian country is following in the footsteps of Thailand, which legalized medical cannabis in December 2018.

Mr. Khairy noted that Malaysia’s existing drug laws do not outlaw the use of products enriched with medicinal-grade cannabis.

Such laws include the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Poisons Act 1952 and the Sale of Drugs Act 1952.

With that being said, the import and use of medical cannabis in Malaysia is not in violation of current laws.

Medical cannabis in Malaysia: Health minister announced rules after being questioned by MP
(Pictured) Minister of Health of Malaysia, Khairy Jamaluddin

Now that medical cannabis consumption and import is legal in Malaysia, consumers can get their hands on the plant with a prescription. However, it should be noted that prescriptions can only be written by medical practitioners and licensed pharmacists. 

Khairy, who answered parliamentary questions from Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman in the form of a written response, discussed Malaysia’s stance on the alternative use of hemp or medical cannabis for patients.

He also touched upon the fact that such laws are acknowledged by the international medical community and have already been put into place in various other countries.

“Importers must also have a license and import permit under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation, the Poisons Act as well as the Dangerous Drugs Act. The sale or retail supply for medical treatment for selected patients must be carried out by a medical practitioner registered under the Medical Act 1971 or a registered pharmacist with a Type A license to certain individuals based on prescriptions issued by registered medical practitioners,” he added.

It’s important to note that any cannabis-containing product must first be registered with the Drug Control Authority (DCA) as authorized by the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1984.

Medical cannabis in Malaysia: Scientifically-proven products can be marketed once evaluated and registered

Malaysia’s new medical cannabis law stipulates that parties who maintain relevant scientific proof to adopt cannabis (hemp) in the pharmaceutical field can apply with the DCA and register the product in accordance with the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1984. 

Mr Khairy claims that cannabis which is listed as a Schedule I drug in the Southeast Asian country is controlled under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. The purpose of this convention is to keep the possession, use, trade, distribution, import, export, manufacture and production of drugs within medical and scientific bounds.

“Data & science driven decision making process,” expressed Mr. Syed Saddiq, as he shared his approval of Khairy’s response via Twitter, adding that he is “really impressed” with the ministry embracing medical cannabis.

In the event that the plan is formally approved, Malaysia could soon be capitalizing on medical cannabis in the same way that countries like Canada, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Uruguay currently are.