Purpose of review
We present information on cannabis policy, demand, and supply in the Asia-Pacific region.
A systematic review of peer-reviewed articles using PubMed, MEDLINE, and reliable sources was conducted. We classified the policy implemented in each country into conducting research, legalization of medical and recreational use, decriminalization, cultivation, and others.
In Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand, medical use has been approved, whereas it is limited in South Korea and Singapore and illegal in other countries. Except Australia, none of the Asia-Pacific region countries allows recreational use. China and Japan are expected to approve medical use, whereas Australia and New Zealand work on decriminalization. Most cultivation is allowed and regulated for medical use. Cannabis seizures have changed in accordance with these policies. Although the national surveys of four countries, that is, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Thailand were conducted in different years, the use of cannabis among the general population has increased.
Any change in the legal status of cannabis must be undertaken with caution and fully evaluated at each stage to determine the extent to which these changes are leading to increased numbers of users, oversupply, and health risks including cannabis-related harm.