It has been a popular country to visit and explore. However, if you are thinking about enjoying marijuana there while you enjoy the sightseeing then you might have to hold on.
As marijuana in Japan is illegal and therefore, it can put you in legal trouble if you are found possessing cannabis publicly. Well, this is not where the country’s cannabis story finishes. There is a lot more to talk about and be aware of cannabis legislation in Japan that will ultimately help you in knowing the marijuana laws in the country better.
It will be also interesting to find that if Japan has followed the trend of considering marijuana’s importance for medicinal purposes like many other countries.
So, without wasting time, let’s get straight into it:
Is Cannabis Legal in Japan in 2021?
This is the question that might bother you while you have planned your journey to Japan. Well, it is also the most asked question to think about cannabis in the country.
However, in 2021, cannabis is illegal in Japan and is considered a punishable offense if anyone is found possessing, selling, or cultivating it. Therefore, make sure to not indulge in any cannabis activities while residing within the country and also to avoid the cops putting heavy fines on you.
Despite the fact that cannabis has been one of the most grown plants on the land of Japan in earlier times of its existence, right now there have been strict guidelines for the cultivation of industrial marijuana. More precisely, the cultivation of hemp is somehow existed in the country to fulfill the industrial demands. Even the cultivation of industrial hemp is permitted with a government license only. Therefore, unlicensed purchase, sale, or intention to make a profit from cannabis cultivation can lead an individual to years of imprisonment.
Some archeologists also believe that cannabis (known as ‘Asia’s in the Japanese language) is found to be grown by the people within 12,000 years ago in the country when it was treated as the main source of fiber, textile, and other industrial purposes.
However, coming back in 2021, cannabis for any purpose is illegal within the country. Apart from this, a recent official statement suggested that a Japanese resident living in another country should also be penalized if found in any kind of cannabis activity. Some experts believe, the statement occurred considering Canada’s relaxing laws on cannabis. That means the Japanese government is also making its citizens follow the guidelines of government outside the country as well.
Overall, the authorities of Japan are completely avoiding the existence of cannabis from its land and also trying to enforce on the citizen’s minds to make it completely unapproachable either within the country or abroad.
Well, some portion of the country’s citizens is in favor of legalizing cannabis. However, the policies to legalize marijuana in any capacity is yet not succeeded.
Historical Changes in Cannabis Legislation
As said earlier, cannabis has been cultivated in the country since the pre-Neolithic period whereas, at that time, the main source of cannabis was utilized to take out textiles and other industrial usable materials.
Even in the earlier 20th century, during the 1914s, hemp was among the farmer’s growing plants to cultivate. The major regions were Hiroshima, Tochigi, Shimane, Iwate, and many more where hemp was grown as the main industrial plant. Well, as the trend of avoiding narcotics in the world took place, the authorities of Japan decided to take a major decision in order to take a step in this direction.
The government of Japan introduced the Cannabis Control Law in 1930, which was later modified within the upcoming years. The major modification took place in 1948, which allowed the licensed people to deal with any kind of marijuana whereas, for the unlicensed average persons in the country, marijuana activity will be treated as an offense. As it breaks the CCL (Cannabis Control Law).
Despite the fact of strict laws in action for cannabis, some populations of the country were in favor to legalize marijuana. That is why the government faced a rise in cannabis popularity among its citizens during the 1970s. Apart from this, the authorities also reported an increase in offenses related to cannabis and narcotics which was reported around 2300 at that time.
However, there was not extreme popularity among the young adults that could pressurize the authorities to take some positive decisions in favor of their demands. Therefore, at that time, Japanese people didn’t face any major change in cannabis legislation.
Apart from this, unlike many other developed countries, Japan didn’t accept marijuana’s medical importance. Therefore, it is also difficult to find any law for medical marijuana in Japan.
The country’s authorities have mainly focused on industrial purposes to fulfill by cannabis cultivation and for that, they have introduced the license system. To cultivate hemp, one must choose the marijuana genetics which possesses low THC levels and must have the consent of authorities.
However, the people which are found possessing marijuana without a government license are sent to jail with huge fines additionally. There have been charges according to the severity of the offense whereas the maximum penalty could be 10 years of imprisonment offending the marijuana laws.
That is why when it comes to cannabis then Japan is less likely to come to mind due to its illegalization and strict policies for related offenses.
Cannabis Possession, Cultivation, and Consumption in Japan
Possessing cannabis in public or private space is illegal in Japan and will lead you to the cops where they will decide whether to fine or send you to jail or even serve you both punishment depending upon the quantity of marijuana they get.
Therefore, there is no chance for an individual to get weed in public places in the country. Whereas the cops might charge you a certain amount if found with small possession of cannabis.
However, it is also true that the people of Japan somehow consume cannabis that is mostly imported from other countries. That is why in one of the raids of Japan police founded 10,000 plants, which was termed as an ‘extraordinary amount’ compared to their past investigation.
Like cannabis possession, cultivation in Japan is also illegal, and therefore, it is treated as offending the marijuana laws which can result in heavy penalties of fine and imprisonment. As the possession of marijuana has up to 5 years of jail and fine, the cultivation of weed can lead to up to 10 years of imprisonment and fine.
However, cannabis cultivation for industrial purposes such as getting textiles, and other components are under the license system. That means the authorized people from the government can grow cannabis whereas unauthorized people have to suffer the penalties.
Consumption of marijuana in Japan is strictly prohibited just like the above two. The authorities have strict policies to make cannabis completely ban in the country. That is why one of the latest official statements suggested penalizing its residents even abroad if found in any cannabis activity.
Thereof, thinking about cannabis in Japan is quite risky and can lead to heavy penalties. Even within the latest worldwide relaxing laws on marijuana, Japan is not likely following the global trend. That is why there have not been any changes in legislation after the Cannabis Control Law since the update of 1963.
Therefore, cannabis possession, cultivation, and consumption for recreational purposes in Japan are completely illegal under the Cannabis Control Law.
Medical Cannabis in Japan
Medical cannabis in Japan has been a topic to debate and discuss in recent times. Before putting cannabis laws into action, the people of the country usually take marijuana and CBD products as relief agents from pain and other serious medical conditions such as Epilepsy and Cancer.
However, after the implementation of the main drug law in 1948, cannabis for medical purposes or say for any intention was prohibited in the region.
Apart from this, even in recent times, the citizens have demanded legalizing medical marijuana and in order to answer the medical demand in the country, the authorities ran a trial on a cancer patient which somehow passed in between. The experts say that this was one of the major trials for medicinal cannabis benefits.
Later on, in 2016, the Japanese authorities finally legalized CBD products in some provinces and also allowed some businesses to promote their product in 2018. Well, considering the history of marijuana laws in the country, this was one of the huge changes in legislation ever that led medical marijuana enthusiasts to access even to CBD products.
Well, even for getting CBD products one has to get consent from authorities and also from the specialist physician. Only then one can get these CBD medical treatments.
Right now, in 2021, Japan didn’t have any medical cannabis program allowing medicinal cannabis to existing within its regions. However, in 2007, there was a company Otsuka Pharmaceuticals that get a license from the government to get Sativex from GW Pharmaceuticals. Well, even till that, the Japanese government didn’t take a step to legalize medical cannabis to some extent.
The major trial that authorities run for a specific time concluded that it doesn’t have ‘concluding results’ that is why it also not helped in making the government take some positive decisions.
Japan’s Cannabis Culture
As said earlier that Japan’s citizens have a deep relationship with the marijuana plant as it was one of the major sources of different materials. Somehow, the laws changed and tried to make marijuana vanish from the land.
Well, that’s not true! Japanese people are more likely to appreciate marijuana’s importance in their daily life as now the major countries are embracing it. Like Canada, Australia, the USA where marijuana laws are somewhat relaxing, weed enthusiasts in Japan are also trying to make the weed laws more relaxing.
However, we cannot say when or what will be the changes in cannabis laws in the future but cannabis popularity has been increasing over time. Also, one of the reports said that, people in Japan who are used to indulge in marijuana activity somehow, grow, or possess marijuana for their personal usage. However, it is illegal but still, the underground market is somewhat fulfilling the demand of people there.
We always recommend our readers follow the government guidelines and local laws. Also to cooperate with the authorities before taking a step into the marijuana world.
Apart from this, if we consider the historical data either from archeologists or from the history of the country then one will find marijuana’s existence from a very earlier time. This means the cannabis culture in Japan has been for a very long time. That is why the weeders in the country still exist even after strict rules.
Some experts say that the cannabis culture which was coming from the previous generation was deeply affected during World War II. It was the time when people started making the perception of cannabis as a bad drug. Despite the fact that marijuana can serve in other ways as well but people mostly think as a psychoactive component reducing the productivity of individuals.
Somehow, industrial hemp which is quite similar to marijuana survived during the tough time, and still in 2021, hemp is a growing culture of Japan that fulfills the industrial demands.
Strict Sentences for Marijuana Offenders
There is no doubt the Japanese government has been quite strict about marijuana offenses. The cops individually target the hotspots areas and raids the stores to find out whether they are selling cannabis.
If anyone is found in any of cannabis activities such as selling, cultivating, or possessing then there is no chance that the accused will be relieved by the laws. The courts are more likely to send the accused to jail for years whereas the fine will be an extra treat.
However, if you are found cultivating cannabis seeds in private homes then you can also be treated as possessing marijuana as you intended for using it privately. Therefore, it is over the authorities that how they want to take the case but the point is that once you get caught then it will be more likely that you will be meeting the fullest extent of the law.
How to Buy Cannabis Seeds in Japan?
Cannabis seeds in Japan are not illegal. That means one can possess cannabis seeds in the country. However, you will be not affected by the cops until or unless you don’t put your seeds in a growing field to make a profit from it.
Simply, possessing marijuana seeds in Japan is allowed but growing is not!
Well, it is also true that some underground markets are there that sell cannabis seeds highly-priced for cheap quality. Some people even grow on their own for personal usage while avoiding the cops.
However, growing cannabis for medicinal purpose or selling purpose both is illegal and somehow, if you are interested in having cannabis seeds then we recommend you the top three seed banks that ship to Japan. Having cannabis seeds will not bother you in terms of legality, therefore, you can possess it but make sure to not start cultivating it either privately.
Cannabis cultivation is ban in Japan for individual purposes. Therefore, there will not be physical stores to sell or share weed seeds. Even for the farmers which have a license to grow hemp, those are also dependent on government stores that keep an eye over such activities.
Therefore, you don’t have any chance to get weed seeds from the few available stores. Well, here comes the online seed banks that can promise you quality with privacy.
Best 3 Seed Banks that Ship to Japan
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One of the trustworthy online seedbanks that ships to Japan and other countries. 24/7 live chat support. Private shipping and several payment options for quick orders.
A variety of seed strains are available. Excellent customer service with affordable rates. Growing guide and beginner-friendly website. Multiple payment gateways.
Check out the user reviews of ILGM seed bank on SeedFinder.
Future of Cannabis Industry in Japan
Considering the world’s major developed countries where medicinal marijuana laws are relaxing and somewhat recreational weed laws are regulated. Japan has been a little behind these countries in order to consider marijuana. However, the citizens of Japan are likely to indulge in cannabis activities and now they are raising their voice too for making it available to them legally.
That is why some marches and rallies are being conducted to make people raise their voices to legalize marijuana. Apart from this, as the other countries are continuously changing the legislation in favor to weed enthusiasts, it is more likely that the Japanese government will consider its people’s concerns.
It is hoped that Japan’s marijuana future can be bright where people will be publicly sharing their marijuana thoughts. However, we have to wait until the government didn’t take any decision and announce it in the public domain.