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  • Post Time Posted July 15, 2019
Expectations are soaring that a booming cannabis market may emerge in many Asian countries.

This growth comes despite the stigma around the cannabis plant and the harsh punishment for drug peddlers in many countries as in the Philippines’ war on drugs sustained by President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against narcotics.

The latest cannabis news is that many Asian nations are softening their stance on the once-taboo drug, and hospitals are readying to experiment with medical cannabis. Among the early movers in the region are South Korea and Thailand, both having legalized medical cannabis in the past 10 months.

Despite the softer tone of policymakers in Asia, the plant remains illegal in the majority of nations. Still, Prohibition Partners sees Asia’s potential medicinal cannabis market to grow into $5.8 billion by 2024.

In many Asian countries possessing, trafficking and consuming cannabis can invite very harsh punishments.

Philippine’s narcotic crackdown has already killed thousands of people and now the UN Human Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, is readying for a comprehensive international review of the campaign.

Malaysian Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said drugs have killed many people but “wrongheaded governmental policies have destroyed many more. I think it’s obvious that after 40 years of war on drugs, it has not worked. There should be decriminalization of drugs.”

In his view, legalizing medicinal cannabis would be a “game-changer.”

Thailand launched its first legal cannabis greenhouse in February. “The attitude is that it’s already a part of traditional medicine,” said Jim Plamondon, marketing head of Thai Cannabis Corporation.

Japan has also approved clinical trials for the cannabis compound Epidiolex used in treating epileptic patients.

“In Western markets, recreational cannabis is expected to outperform medicinal cannabis in market forecasts, but in Asia, the opposite is likely to be true,” the consultancy said. 

Among nations in the Asia region, Japan and China hold big potential as big consumers of medical cannabis.

Source: https://www.ibtimes.com/medical-marijuana-takes-over-asia-despite-dutertes-drug-war-2806532

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