What will be the biggest challenge clients face? What have advisors done in different jurisdictions to protect clients?

Kenji Kuroda

Partner, Kuroda Law Offices

The biggest challenge clients will face in Japan is that cannabis is strictly regulated as a type of a narcotic in Japan. The only cannabis products that you can commercialise here is THC-free CBD products extracted and manufactured from mature cannabis stems or seeds. Actually, the Japanese government is publishing products in which THC is detected on
the Internet.

If you want to commercialise CBD products, if the products contain a little THC, the government will publish it on the Internet. If you import-export or possess without a licence, you’ll be punished. And getting a licence for cultivation or research is unrealistic. The authorities are not willing to grant any licences, so it is so difficult for us to advise clients to consider applying for such a licence.

For the purposes of recreational or medicinal use, any act relating to cannabis, except those that are not derived from mature stems or seeds and do not contain THC, is a crime. You have to be careful. That’s my advice. But we hope that the Japanese government will be relaxing the strict control to the extent maybe it can be used for medicinal purposes. Actually, the government has started to consider whether or not the medical use of cannabis should be allowed. Then the situation will maybe change, but we’re still be far behind Canada and the US.