The Cabinet has given its approval to allow the cultivation of hemp and ketum for medicinal purposes.
Deputy communications and multimedia minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the Cabinet had no objections and instructed his ministry to discuss with health minister Khairy Jamaluddin on how best to proceed with granting approval for the planting process.
“This is a very good development, especially for those involved in the medical field.
“But I would like to reiterate that any approval is for medicinal purposes and not for recreational use,” Utusan Malaysia quoted him as saying.
Zahidi noted there was high demand abroad for hemp and ketum due to their medicinal qualities and said he was confident the Cabinet would soon approve their medical use here.
Earlier this month, the parliamentary caucus on medical cannabis said policy issues on the development of the hemp, cannabis and ketum industry would be raised in the Cabinet after it held a meeting.
The meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, acknowledged the industry was vastly developed in many countries and valued at RM60 billion at present.
Ismail was said to have given a positive response to the policy issues raised, which also included the issue of people facing court charges, as well as those found guilty of consuming cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Previously, Khairy said his ministry was ready to collaborate with industry players or academia to research the medicinal use of marijuana.