Competition in Korea’s medical cannabis market heats up

As the government plans to allow the cultivation and import of cannabis-based drugs in Korea soon, Korean bio-companies are actively moving to preoccupy the related market.

Under the Narcotics Control Act, cannabis-based drugs currently can only be used for official and academic purposes in Korea. Also, patients with rare and incurable diseases can only purchase cannabis-based medicines at the Korea Orphan & Essential Drug Center (KODC).

However, according to the “100 Food and Drug Regulatory Innovation Tasks” announced by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Aug. 11, the ministry plans to permit the production and import of cannabis-based drugs as early as 2024 to guarantee the right to treat rare and incurable diseases.

The ministry also plans to expand the therapeutic use of overseas clinical trial drugs containing cannabis and will allow people to carry cannabis-based medicines for self-treatment to enter or leave the country.

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