Health Ministry okays hemp cultivation for research purposes

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad delivers his opening speech during the National Palliative Care Symposium at the Selayang Hospital November 6, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad delivers his opening speech during the National Palliative Care Symposium at the Selayang Hospital November 6, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 7 — The cultivation of hemp, a type of herbal plant from the Cannabis sativa species, is allowed for purposes of industrial research, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. 

He said this is allowed under Section 6B(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 where the Health Minister had the authority to allow the cultivation of hemp for the production of fibre and seeds solely for non-commercial purposes.

“However, the implementation date has not yet been decided. It depends on the discussions with the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources,” he told reporters after launching the 18th Annual Scientific Congress of Asia Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology 2019, here yesterday.

Dr Dzulkefly stressed that the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and other purposes was still not allowed until the laws are amended.

“The permission to plant hemp does not involve cultivation of cannabis. I hope the public are not confused,” he said, adding that the planting of hemp was allowed as its fibre could be used in making cosmetics.

According to media reports, the ganja content in hemp was very low compared to its potential in various industries including textile.

Meanwhile, senior director of the Pharmaceutical Services Programme in the Health Ministry Dr Ramli Zainal said there were many standard operating procedures which must be drawn up following the consent given for the cultivation of hemp.

“This includes who can import it, who can plant it, what kind of land is suitable, how many layers and how high is the fence,” he said, adding that the Health Ministry would draw up the guidelines on the cultivation of hemp. — Bernama

Related Articles