Japan should permit medical cannabis, health ministry panel says

Japan Flag on cannabis background. Drug policy. Legalization of marijuana

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A health ministry panel in Japan recommended Thursday that the country allow the import, manufacture, and use of cannabis-derived medicines, applying the same approval process as pharmaceuticals.

Announcing its findings in a report, the committee also said that Japan should do more to discourage the recreational use of cannabis.

In Japan, cannabis passion is illegal but not its use, and the panel noted that only 1.4% of people in the country have ever tried marijuana, compared to 20-40% in the west.

Citing cannabis-derived epilepsy drug Epidiolex, the committee noted that even if such treatments are approved in Japan, clinicians won’t be able to prescribe them due to limitations in the current Cannabis Control Act.

Developed by Ireland-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ), Epidiolex has become the first CBD medication to undergo clinical trials in Japan for rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street, cannabis stocks opened higher on Thursday. Notable gainers included Columbia Care (OTCQX:CCHWF), Cresco Labs (OTCQX:CRLBF), TerrAscend (OTCQX:TRSSF), and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY)

Listen: Niklas Kouparanis, CEO and Co-Founder of Bloomwell Group, one of Germany's largest cannabis players, talks to Seeking Alpha about the drawbacks of decriminalizing marijuana before legalization.

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