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Roger Nakazawa: “It is expected that cannabinoids and cannabis will be increasingly used in Japan, especially in the medical field”

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Roger Nakazawa, CEO of Asabis, is one of the main organizers of the exhibition and conference CBD Journey & CannaCon 2023, taking place today and tomorrow in Tokyo, Japan. Recognizing the potential and challenges of CBD and hemp, Nakazawa founded the CBD Club and Asabis Inc., dedicating himself to building the infrastructure of the CBD and hemp in your country.

Born in Kyoto and raised in Tokyo, he graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Hitotsubashi University. Sauna and SPA health consultant, Nakazawa also worked in several technology companies in Japan and South America, responsible for new businesses.

He later created a company focused on international marketing and, at the same time, took on the role of president of the Japanese subsidiary of a French IT company. Currently, Roger Nakazawa is involved in management as a consultant and directs most of his energies towards the CBD and hemp sector, leading the organization of Volume 5 of CBD Journey, which once again teams up with CannaCon to showcase the potential of hemp and CBD in Japan.

We sent some questions to Roger Nakazawa, to understand the situation of CBD and hemp in Japan a little better.

What is the hemp situation in Japan? Approximately how much is the country cultivating and producing?
After being banned by the Cannabis Control Law after World War II, the number of hemp producers has declined year after year and currently there are only about 30 left. Hemp produced today in Japan is mainly used for religious ceremonies at shrines . However, due to a recent change to the Cannabis Control Act this month, hemp cultivation permits are expected to be easier to obtain in the future.

Is CBD legal in Japan? Is it available in high street stores?
CBD derived from hemp seeds or stems is legal. However, in the amendment to the Cannabis Control Act that was passed this month, CBD is expected to become legal regardless of the part of the plant from which it is derived. As for CBD from hemp seeds or stems, a variety of products have emerged and become available for purchase in department stores, CBD specialty stores, and cosmetics stores. This is the CBD industry landscape map which we update every semester.

What types of products can you make with these parts of hemp and which companies will be present at the exhibition?
Although raw materials are mainly sourced from abroad, Japanese companies produce CBD products, hemp-based clothing, and hemp-based foods such as hemp seed oils, protein, and a traditional Japanese seasoning called “Shichimi.” At this year's CBD Journey & CannaCon 2023 there will be more than 100 companies with a central focus on CBD. Here is a list of participating companies.

How do you expect the medical cannabis situation to evolve in the country?
With this month's legislative change, the CBD-derived preparation called Epidiolex was recognized as a medicine. Following this change, many large and international companies began to focus on the Japanese market and collaborations with our country. It is gradually expected that cannabinoids and cannabis will be increasingly used in Japan, especially in the medical field.

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