KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — A memorandum based on the findings of a public forum entitled “Sustainable Future of Medical Cannabis, Industrial Hemp and Kratom (Ketum) Industry” is expected to be handed over to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob by next week.
Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the move was to enable the crops to be used in the medical industry and exported.
He said immediate steps to approve the crop to be exported and used as a medicinal material were necessary to prevent Malaysia from being left behind in patenting the material.
“International drug agencies from the United States and Germany are in the process of patenting ketum (as a medicinal material), if we are slow in getting the approval, the country will lose out.
“If we are slow to patent it, then our country which grows ketum will have to pay high fees to export it abroad, even if they (other countries) do not grow it,” he said during a press conference here today.
He said the memorandum would also be submitted to the Home and Health ministries.
At the same time, Zahidi said he would submit a memorandum of findings to all mentris besar and chief ministers on the effectiveness of the crops’ use in medicine, as well as get the support of MPs to amend the Poisons Act 1952.
“We will meet every Mentri Besar (and Chief Minister) and submit medical journals from universities, such as the University of Thailand which reports on the benefits of ketum for the nerves, and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) which has also done studies.
A research report on the benefits of cannabis, hemp and ketum and the memorandum were submitted to Zahidi at the public forum on December 16 last year. — Bernama