South Korea has legalized medical marijuana, making it the first East Asian country to legalize any form of weed. While many experts speculated that Thailand would be the first East Asian country with medical marijuana, South Korea officially took the title after voting on amendments to their Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs.
Medical marijuana may now be legal, but there are still very strict regulations and guidelines regarding who can qualify. South Korea law specifically allows only for non-hallucinogenic dosages of marijuana, and all patients must apply through the Korea Orphan Drug Center. Overall, Koreans hope that access to medical marijuana can help patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, and other rare illnesses.
Now that South Korea has become the first East Asian country to legalize medical marijuana, other countries in the area will hopefully soon follow suit. Many experts in the cannabis industry have speculated that Thailand and Malaysia will be the next East Asian countries with legalized marijuana.
South Korea plans to begin medical testing and trials for THC and CBD based drugs. Some existing cannabis-based drugs, such as Epidiolex, Marinol, Cesamet and Sativex, will be allowed in these trials.