Medical Marijuana: Its Acceptance in Asian Countries

Medical Marijuana: Its Acceptance in Asian Countries

Asia is home to the world’s most stringent drug laws that impose stiff punishment just like the mandatory death sentence for trafficking of illegal drugs.

With the assembly , distribution, and usage of illicit drugs thriving within the continent, especially within the notorious Golden Triangle, such laws show few signs of adjusting.

However, some medical advances have led to the invention of various benefits in marijuana. For the past decade, it had been utilized in western countries just like the U.S. to assist cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and other patients deal with their symptoms.

While remaining conservative primarily to the thought of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, some Southeast Asian countries are on its thanks to catch up with western counterparts in legalizing the drug for medical purposes. Hence, other Asian countries already approved the utilization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Medical Marijuana and the Way it Works

Medical marijuana uses a marijuana plant to alleviate diseases or conditions. it is the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes.

Medical marijuana is a huge industry, making up tens of billions of dollars in sales per annum . For entrepreneurs who can sell cannabis to patients for treatment, they will take advantage on the emerging trend. Success during this vertical requires that entrepreneurs can find the simplest suppliers of products and curate high-quality strains that meet the wants of both regulators and consumers.

This plant contains quite 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) are the first chemicals utilized in medicine. THC also produces the cerebral high people feel once they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.

Medical marijuana usage for various conditions includes:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Appetite loss
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Eating disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Schizophrenia
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Wasting syndrome

This current year has been promising for medical marijuana in Asia since the governments across the continent have approved cannabis reforms as a way to realize new opportunities in health and wealth for his or her country.

Here are a number of the countries in Asia that made a promising move for medical marijuana.

  • South Korea made history when it chose to become the primary modern Asian country to legalize medicinal cannabis with the law effective in March 2019. The country was considered to be the primary to import specific THC and CBD-based medications.

Although approved products will remain tightly enclosed, the new law marks a crucial milestone in global economics and a turning point in how the drug is perceived in traditionally conservative societies.

  • Japan has approved the marijuana compound Epidiolex for clinical trials in epileptic patients with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes last March 2019. The experiments were proclaimed recently by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare officials while on a conference of the research and development agency Okinawa-Northern Task Force.
  • Thailand. In August 2016, the Thai government said there have been by both the govt and personal organizations to deal with the likelihood of decriminalizing the utilization of medical marijuana.

Four associations with spokespeople at the conference were the Crime Suppression police unit, Drug Suppression Unit, National Agricultural Council, and Council of State. Three years later, the country legalized medical marijuana in February 2019.

  • Malaysia. Despite known for it’s for zero-tolerance on drug-trafficking, the country is considering legalizing medical marijuana. Declared in June that it might end the prosecution of drug users in what Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad described as a “game-changer policy.
  • Philippine. A lawmaker introduced a bill to legalize medical marijuana last September 2019. Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs that claimed the lives of thousands since mid-2016, the Philippines committee on Health in March previous year endorsed the utilization of medical marijuana.Bill 180 orders the principles for the right use of medical marijuana, including the designation of a professional medical cannabis physician, a medical marijuana patient who shall be issued an identification card, a professional medical cannabis caregiver, and a professional medical cannabis compassionate center.
  • China. During 2017, the country gave permission to the Hanma Investment Group in 2017 to extract CBD. China generally permits the selling of hemp seeds and hemp oil and therefore the use of CBD in cosmetics; however, it’s not yet approved CBD to be used in food and medicines. China cultivates nearly half the world’s legal hemp.

During 2018 sales, mostly of textile fiber, totaled $1.2billion. Now global trade for its seeds, leaves, and flowers is growing. full of fulsome fatty acids, seeds enter snacks and oil.

The leaves and flowers of marijuana contain cannabinoid (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound that induces anxiety and inflammation. Hence, it’s being added as a supplement to food, drinks, and cosmetics across the West. In June, America approved the primary CBD medicine for epilepsy.

Medical Cannabis has Rapidly been Accepted

It didn’t take long for citizens in Thailand to permit the utilization of medical marijuana following the revealing of the primary legal cannabis greenhouse back in February. The media has published many information on the healthcare applications, benefits, and economic implications of the drug, and everyday citizens seem to get on board.

Thailand is probably the foremost influential of the South-eastern Asia countries to legalize medical marijuana, but it isn’t the primary . South Korea also surprised the planet by becoming the primary East Asian country to legalize the drug in November of 2018.

Malaysia, Japan, and a number of other other East Asian countries have also changed their legislation to become hospitable decriminalizing medical marijuana. The rapid success and acceptance of the drug across the region are astounding.

Investment opportunities in Asia

The plant remains unauthorized, mostly in the Asian nations. Still, Prohibition Partners estimated that Asia’s medicinal strain market could by 2024 be approximately worth $5.8 billion.

Recreational cannabis In Western markets is expected to outperform medicinal cannabis in market forecasts, but in Asia, the opposite is likely to happen.

Japan will very likely become a big consumer of medical cannabis.

Currently, Japan has the largest population of elderly people at 33.1%, and this is set to bring about an unusual rise in health expenses in the long term. The nation’s spending on healthcare is estimated to reach US$2.7 trillion at the beginning of 2020.

Moreover, Japan is not the only one faced with an aging population. Within 2030, 17.8% of China’s population is anticipated to be above 65 years old, base on The Economist Intelligence Unit. The statement added that Asia is on track to have the most aged population in the world very soon, and with old age appears many chronic diseases.

As for investment opportunities, many are still hesitant to actively bet on the products because of the social stigma around the plant, as said by Prohibition Partners. Nevertheless, Hong Kong saw it was the first-ever Cannabis Investor Symposium in November last year.

China is not only committed to the research but also slowly in production. Asia’s largest economy currently cultivates nearly half the world’s legal hemp, cannabis that includes almost no hallucinogens, base on China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Medical Cannabis are going to be a $5.8 billion market in Asia

It’s predicted that by the year 2024, Asia will be one of the most significant contributors to the worldwide medical cannabis market with a potential U.S. $5.8 billion in revenue. To achieve this number, legalization will be required across the region, not including China.

If China entered the market, the financial implications for the cannabis economy would go through the roof. However, it’s not likely that China will give up its strict legislation within this next decade.

Momentum in the Asian Region

Canada and Uruguay currently are the only two countries that have fully legalized the recreational use of cannabis. However, the piecemeal legalization of medicinal cannabis has been spreading across the world, including, notably, countries such as Israel, Australia, and Germany.

In Asia, countries like Seoul and Bangkok tend to be leading the way in the normalization and legalization of medical strain with a government license. Thailand is that the only nation that has fully legalized medicinal cannabis with others actively looking into the plant’s healthcare applications, consistent with Prohibition Partners, a world marijuana industry consultancy.

South Korea stunned many by being the first East Asian country to legalize medical marijuana. The policy came to effect in March 2019 this year to expand treatment options for patients with epilepsy, chronic pain, and other conditions.

These recent changes represent a significant and broad-based shift in policy, but also represent a reclaiming of historical practices in the region. The use of weed can be traced back to China by documented medical texts over 2,000 years old, and in India through the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine, which is roughly 5,000 years old.

These developments also mark a significant commercial opportunity. Base on the research by Prohibition Partners, an international cannabis consultancy, only 2% of Asia’s population uses marijuana, which is about half the global average of nearly 4%. Still, even at that low percentage, that still represents 86 million potential consumers. Prohibition Partners estimates the Asian medical marijuana market alone will be worth over $5.8 billion by 2024, with the total Asian marijuana market, perhaps exceeding $8.5 billion.

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