Growing cannabis is possible – but only if permission is first obtained from the Health Ministry and it is for medicinal and research purposes. According to an Astro Awani report, National Anti-Drugs Agency director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said there was room in the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 for the cultivation of cannabis for said purposes, with the condition that prior permission is obtained. He added that its cultivation should be strictly controlled so it is not misused for other purposes. Marijuana can be cultivated for medicinal purposes in Malaysia, all you need is to obtain permission from the Minister of Health, according to National Anti-Drug Agency Director General, Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah. Speaking to Harian Metro, he said there is a provision in the Malaysian law that allowed for the cultivation of the cannabis plant in the country provided that it met some special conditions or permissions. “Recently, I read in the press about (the success) of a group of Malaysians (abroad) in producing cannabis oil, so I feel it’s a wasted opportunity if we don’t look into the feasibility of doing the same in Malaysia. “If we look at the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, the cannabis plant can be cultivated for medical purposes … therefore it is important to get the approval from the Health Minister first, before it can be produced for medical purposes,” he said. He said this when speaking to the media after the National Anti-Drug Agency appreciation ceremony in Pahang, yesterday. The Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 expressively restricts the possession, sale, use, importation and exportation of opium, cocaine and marijuana substances. However, there is a provision in the act that allows for the use of these substances for medicinal purposes with permission. The success story of three Malaysians who succeeded in producing CBD (Cannabidiol) Oil from Cannabis Sativa in the United Kingdom received local media attention in June, last year. Abdul Halim Pauzi and Nurul Ain Sahbudin, together with their friend, Mohd Roslan Abdullah, who has been living in the UK for 15 years founded CBD Oils Malaysia, a company that produces cannabis oils for medicinal purposes. The trio had also acquired licenses to market their marijuana-based product in over 50 other countries in the European Union. Zulkifli said that if the cannabis plant is proven to be beneficial for medicinal use then the relevant parties should look into developing the industry locally so long as it is in accordance with the provisions of the Malaysian law. “We can’t have the plant cultivated all over the place because the substance is considered a drug. That’s why we need regulation. In fact, a number of countries have already started an industry around the marijuana plant. Perhaps one day, Malaysia can be an exporter of the substance provided that we follow the law. “That’s why it is important for the ministry of health to verify marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes because they have the authority to do so,” he said. Currently, medical marijuana is legal in some form in over 30 countries including: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, and Thailand with European countries being among the most progressive when it comes to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Medicinal marijuana has been found to be effective in treating several medical problems including Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsy, schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder.