A Sabah woman says working a year in a U.S. weed lab taught her everything she needs to know about regulating the drug – and she thinks Malaysia should take note.
Hadhinah Fawwazah, 32, wrote in a now-viral post yesterday that America’s strict marijuana regulations, which include licensing and implementing unique staff IDs, offers approaches Malaysia could follow were it to ever legalize the drug.
“The reason I share this is to provide information and positive exposure, where marijuana can be well-regulated and not misused if controlled tightly and systematically,” she wrote in Malay. “Please read [the post] from start to finish to understand. If you can’t give a positive comment, just shut up. Malaysia could take note because it is not impossible and [the country] can use the same marijuana regulation system!”
Her post has since been shared nearly 20,000 times.
Hadhinah said she works for Premium Produce in Las Vegas, Nevada, which says it provides medical cannabis programs and produces cannabinoid medicines. The company said it also cultivates its own cannabis.
Neither the company nor Hadhinah responded immediately to Coconuts Singapore’s online inquiries.
According to Hadhinah’s post, she first joined the company as an accountant before enrolling in a course that would then led her into the job in charge of quality control and compliance of marijuana.
She said that there are strict requirements for the job, including having no criminal record. She said that she is also required to obtain a special ID that needs to be renewed periodically. Each employee who holds the pass can also be tracked under a system called Metrc, she said.
“Each time a cannabis product changes form, for example from seed to maturity, the ID of the agent responsible for the change will appear [in the system],” she wrote. “If there’s a mistake, the state government will send someone to the facility to check on what’s wrong.”
“It’s not easy working in this highly regulated industry. I can say I love my job, and my job is so unique and I know this opportunity won’t come to me if I don’t have an open heart or not believing in science. I hope it will be federally legal someday in the future, and that it will be legal in Malaysia,” she added.
She also said that she once turned to smoking weed to treat her depression. She suggests it was successful as she has since stopped.
“Honestly I rarely use cannabis products. Earlier when I just moved here, the doctor diverted medication for my depression to the use of cannabis. A year later I don’t have to depend on anything anymore,” she said.
Thailand is currently the only Southeast Asian nation where medical marijuana is legalized, though in very limited supply. Patients with critical needs can obtain permission from doctors at a few specialized, government-licensed clinics located at hospitals. Malaysia made headlines in 2018 for being involved in talks to make a similar move, but the effort appears stalled.
Last November, then-Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad gave the green light to cultivate hemp in Malaysia for industrial purposes. But no implementation date has been announced.
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