South Korea, a nation of 51 million will start allowing imports of medical cannabis beginning next month as part of an attemps to provide additional treatment options for patients with uncommon diseases.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety explained the National Assembly has passed a bill to amend a pertinent law to allow imports and exports of non-hallucinogenic doses of medical marijuana for individuals suffering from epilepsy and other diseases.
The law will take effect on March 12, officials explained.
The ministry said that patients will be asked to apply to the Korea Orphan and Essential Drug Center, a government agency that offers rare medicines to patients, even after receiving a physician’s prescription.
There are additional restrictions, like patients needing to submit a doctor’s document stating that there is not any alternative therapy in the nation, the ministry said.
The move marks a change in coverage 50 years after Seoul banned all imports, exports and production of marijuana. Under the nation’s anti-drug laws, smoking and trafficking marijuana for recreational function stay illegal with those found guilty facing upwards of five years .