South Korea Legalizes Medical Cannabis

South Korea has become the first country in East Asia to legalize medical cannabis. The South Korean National Assembly recently voted to approve amending the “Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs” to pave the way for nonhallucinogenic doses of medical cannabis prescriptions.

Patients will be required to apply to the Korea Orphan Drug Center, which is a government body that facilitates patient access to rare medicines in the country. Patients will also need a prescription from a medical practitioner and approval will only be granted on a case-by-case basis.

According to a report from Marijuana Business Daily (1), medical cannabis will still be tightly restricted, but the law’s approval by the central government is seen as a breakthrough in a country many believed would be last–not among the first-to approve any use of cannabis.