Legal Ambiguity of Medical Cannabis in Taiwan
Cannabis sativa has been used as a medicine since ancient times from India and China to North Africa and the Middle East. Increasingly, in the modern era countries are legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use after a period of criminalization. Medical cannabinoids specifically the compounds the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), can be administered in a variety of ways including tinctures, patches, sprays and more. This article review the legal status of medical cannabinoids in Taiwan. As of May 7th 2020 the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) announced that cannabinoids can be used medically, and that CBD specifically was never a controlled substance meaning but it must follow pharmaceutical laws. This announcement suggest that medical cannabis is de juri legal in Taiwan. However despite this announcement, the legal limit for THC content for any cannabis related products cannot exceed 10ppm which is 200 times lower than UN World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 0.2%. Currently, the only legal medical cannabis products in Taiwan are Epidiolex, Marinol, Sativex and Syndros. But it is effectively impossible for patients to access these medicines due to unclear application processes and legal ambiguity. Incongruencies between government announcements and policies make CBD importation impossible. This article advises the government to revise the THC content standard to match other countries so medical cannabinoids can become de facto legal.