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Japan health panel recommends allowing import, use of medical marijuana products

Japan health panel recommends allowing import, use of medical marijuana products

An Israeli worker packs medical cannabis at UNIVO Pharmaceuticals in the coastal city of Ashkelon, Israel, on Jan 16, 2022. (File photo: AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

TOKYO: A Japanese health ministry panel on Thursday (Sep 29) recommended revising the nation's drug laws to allow for the importation and use of medicinal marijuana products.

The recommendation was based on meeting medical needs and to harmonise Japan with international standards, the committee said in a report.

The revision would apply to marijuana products whose safety and efficacy were confirmed under laws governing pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Japan has very strict laws banning the importation, production and use of illicit substances.

The committee's report noted that only 1.4 per cent of people in Japan had ever used marijuana, compared to 20 per cent to 40 per cent in Western countries.

Revision of the law would be necessary for the use of the cannabis-derived epilepsy drug Epidiolex, which is currently undergoing clinical trials in Japan, the report said.

Source: Reuters/kg
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