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Japan Could Allow CBD Food Products in the Country

In Japan, cannabis reform is progressing with the approval of medicinal cannabinoid production from industrial hemp and the public comment period for a new cannabis reform bill. The bill aims to simplify the approval process for CBD products, potentially allowing CBD in food without lengthy reviews. This could position Japan as a pioneer in the global CBD industry.




In Japan, too, despite years of prohibition, it has been understood that cannabis, when used correctly, has many useful aspects. For example, in medicine, where only at the end of 2023 the House of Representatives approved an amendment that allowed the production of medicinal cannabinoids from industrially grown industrial hemp.

This paved the way for the use of cannabis medicines in the country. However, since 2016, thanks to an announcement by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW), the sale, possession and consumption of CBD products has been permitted, as long as it is ensured that they do not contain any traces of the intoxicating THC.

Import and marketing are subject to strict regulations and approval from the MHLW is required. The well-known Novel Food Regulation also applies there, meaning that new products must undergo a long procedure before they can be placed on the market. However, this could now change due to a cannabis reform law that waives the complex and lengthy Novel Food procedure for CBD products. Japan could thus become the first country to allow CBD in food.

A public debate on cannabis took place in japan

Japan has officially launched a public comment period for its groundbreaking cannabis reform bill, revealing new details about how the country plans to shape its burgeoning cannabis industry in the coming months. As reported, the Japanese government announced on May 30th that it would now accept public comments from interested parties on five planned measures.

The preliminary proposals particularly indicate that the country wants to say goodbye to the lengthy review process of the novel food procedure, which would make the country a pioneer in the use of CBD in food. According to Yves Antoniazzi, the managing director of Astrasana Holding AG, this would be a major milestone for the global cannabis industry. Such a step has been awaited for a long time, said Antoniazzi

Japan would thus become the first country to allow CBD in food, paving the way for companies involved to be able to offer CBD products in retail chains without any problems. Astrasana is one of the few international companies that has already gained a foothold in the Japanese CBD market under the current circumstances.

Medical professionals and CBD companies are in demand

There are five topics that medical professionals and CBD companies will be asked to publicly voice their opinions on the proposed changes during the public comment period, including future law enforcement, THC analysis methods, the development of related laws and regulations, and the review of Class 1 and Class 2 cultivation licenses. This period of review and comment on the bill is expected to last until either June 13th or June 29th, after which a final decision will be made and the changes can go into effect.

Late last year, Japan took an important step towards proper cannabis reform by passing a law amending the 75-year-old Cannabis Control Act. Only then did the Japanese authorities work out the relevant details of these reforms. Since then, the industry has been waiting for the MHLW to announce how the new framework will be set. Therefore, there is now time to gather appropriate comments from stakeholders. The amended bill will then amend some key regulations that can help the CBD and medical cannabis industry in Japan to flourish.

Since there is already an active and growing CBD industry in the country, but it is always subject to the restrictions of not having to be able to detect any traces of THC in its products, it can be assumed that something will change here too. It is therefore expected that in the future products with a THC value of 0.3 percent will also be allowed to be sold.


(Featured image by Jaison Lin via Unsplash)

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First published in HANF MAGAZIN. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the articles from the originals. In case of discrepancy, the originals will prevail.

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Arturo Garcia started out as a political writer for a local newspaper in Peru, before covering big-league sports for national broadsheets. Eventually he began writing about innovative tech and business trends, which let him travel all over North and South America. Currently he is exploring the world of Bitcoin and cannabis, two hot commodities which he believes are poised to change history.