Is CBD Oil Legal In South Korea?
These days it seems like CBD is everywhere. Millions of people now use the substance, and there is plenty of reason for this: Some scientific evidence has made claims that CBD can allegedly make a positive difference in the lives of its users, and there are countless anecdotal reports that have claimed the same thing. CBD’s projected revenue is likely to climb with its popularity, as the industry is expected to generate $20 billion by 2024.
One of the reasons for CBD’s newfound popularity is that dozens of countries have recently changed their laws to allow for CBD to be used. These legal changes have come with the recognition that CBD and marijuana are very different products and should be regulated differently. One such country is South Korea, which has recently begun to make very minor changes to its treatment of cannabis.
Is CBD Oil Allowed In South Korea?
Yes, but only in very limited medical purposes, and only very limited CBD strains.
Effective March 2019, a very limited form of medical marijuana became legal in South Korea, making it the first country in Southeast Asia to do so. Regulations on the new program are forthcoming, but it appears that marijuana will have to be imported, and the drugs must have been approved by the governing regulatory bodies in other countries. Approved medications are expected to include Epidiolex, Sativex, Cesamet, and Marinol.
Access will require a letter from a patient’s Doctor, explaining the condition and reason which medical marijuana is needed. It will also require a completed application and approval from South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. If the Ministry approves of the application, the patient will work with South Korea’s Orphan Drug Center in order to import the marijuana.
As of June 2019, despite the fact that the drug had been formally legalized and the law was supposed to have taken effect, there were still major barriers to access, including the limited permission, high regulatory burden and resulting high prices.
Other Drug Laws In South Korea
All other use of drugs in South Korea remains illegal for any other purposes. All other forms of CBD consumption are also illegal. Cannabis possession is punishable by a fine of $44,000 and a jail sentence of up to five years.
According to other reports, South Korea is serious about its ban on CBD: In the first six months of 2018, 38 people were arrested for smuggling CBD. Indeed, South Korean officials have gone as far as warning its citizens living in Canada that they may not consume recreational marijuana while living in Canada, as doing so still violates South Korean law.