South Korea Marijuana Law & Policy

Both recreational and medical use of cannabis is illegal throughout South Korea.

Current Legislation

The possession, sale, transport and cultivation of cannabis are illegal in South Korea. Offenders are penalized with imprisonment and fines. According to U.S. Passports & International Travel, “penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Republic of Korea can be severe, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences, heavy fines, and deportation at the end of their sentence.” At any time, police in South Korea are allowed to search or require urine tests from individuals they suspect could be in possession of marijuana.

The growing of industrial hemp is legal in South Korea, which is one of the leading hemp-producing nations. The possession and use of CBD hemp oil is also legal throughout the country.

Medical Marijuana Laws

In South Korea, there is no medical marijuana legislation allowing for medicinal use of cannabis.


Clarke, R.C. (2006, April). Hemp (Cannabis) Cultivation and Use in the Republic of Korea. Journal of Industrial Hemp, 11(1), 51-86. Retrieved from
South Korea. (2015, July 13). U.S. Passports & International Travel. Retrieved from