MARDI Study: Most Malaysians And Doctors Support Medical Cannabis

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 – A feasibility study by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) has found that a clear majority of the general public and medical professionals in Malaysia support the use of medical cannabis. 

The preliminary results of the study, which surveyed 1,722 members of the general public and 200 professional medical practitioners, indicate that 81 per cent of the general public supported the use of cannabis as an alternative treatment, while 74 per cent of medical practitioners agreed with the marketing of medical cannabis in Malaysia for specific patients, subject to strict government control.

The ongoing study, aimed at evaluating the potential of the medical cannabis market in Malaysia, is set to conclude in April 2023. The focus of the study is on the development of the medical cannabinoid industry, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said in a written Dewan Negara reply last Thursday to Senator Dominic Lau Hoe Chai.

Lau has asked about the progress, specifically in terms of research, on the use of cannabis in the medical field. Under these acts, importers are required to hold specific licences, exceptions, and permissions issued under the respective acts.

Dr Zaliha said the import of products (medicines) containing cannabis extract for research or clinical trials is regulated by the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, the Poisons Act 1952, and the Sale of Drugs Act 1952. Under these acts, importers are required to hold specific licences, exceptions, and permissions issued under the respective acts.

“Until March 8, 2023, no application for clinical trial import licence (CTIL) or clinical trial exemption for manufacturing (CTX) has been received and issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH) for the importation of products (medicines) containing cannabis extract for the purpose of conducting clinical trials in Malaysia.

“The MOH welcomes any research and clinical trials on products containing cannabis extract for medical purposes. If the product is scientifically proven to be effective in treating certain diseases, the relevant party can apply for the registration of the product with the Drug Control Authority and subsequently market it in Malaysia,” Dr Zaliha said.

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