Japan's parliament approved a bill on Wednesday to legalize cannabis-derived medical products while criminalizing the use of the chemical other than for medicinal purposes.
The upper house of the National Diet of Japan passed the revised cannabis and narcotics control laws during the day, which will enter into force within a year from promulgation.
Under the revised laws, cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive chemical found in the plant, will be dealt with as narcotics, the use of which will be banned to prevent young people and others from abusing it.
While Japan already prohibits the possession and distribution of cannabis, the country will ban its use except for medicinal purposes, setting a prison sentence of up to seven years for violation.
Growing the plants to produce medical products will also be allowed.