Cannabis is becoming a cash crop approaching 2025 with the demand of raw cannabis soaring due to constant legalization of CBD and THC related products either for medical or recreational consumption worldwide. International communities consisting of countries such as Netherlands, Spain, US, Canada, and Uruguay have taken a step to legalize cannabis to reduce criminal activity in the illicit drug scene and to promote research on the medical benefits and necessary regulations needed around the consumption and production of cannabis.
In the year 2000, Malaysia announced its potential in the Knowledge-Based Economy where its vision was to excel in R&D activities developing products, services and technologies that spearhead breakthroughs in the conversion of Malaysian commodities into high-value finished products. Looking at the deteriorative environmental impacts of previous cash crops in Malaysia such as palm oil and considering the new emerging market of cannabis worldwide, proves as an opportunity for Malaysia to utilize its Knowledge-Based economy to engage in this industry.
Relevant research on the cultivation of cannabis in South-East Asian Climate and its potential for export to other countries is very limited in Malaysia and other SEA regions, with Thailand leading to way in legalization and research on cannabis in 2019. With such climate and socio-economic potential of cannabis in Malaysia, research on suitable guidelines for cultivation and processing of cannabis need to be develop promptly to allow Malaysia to be competitive in the production of cannabis as a promising cash crop of the future. Laws of Malaysia have specific regulations that allow the cultivation of cannabis for the export to other countries given that an import certificate is obtained from the receiving country that allows the consumption and processing of raw cannabis-such as US and Canada (Ref: Act234-DDA1952).
Given that relevant research on the types of cannabis and methods of cultivations is developed in Malaysia, the research outcomes will be able to develop the K-Economy Society needed to boost the agricultural sector of Malaysia in a wider perspective. The expected outcomes of the relevant research are (a) Detailed report on the international market of Raw Cannabis and potential methods for cultivation in a Tropical Climate of Malaysia as a cash crop (b) Experimental Study on methods to extract and produce THC and CBD products based on regulations for usage in medical and pharma industry worldwide.