Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thailand moves to legalise medical marijuana



Thailand moves to legalise medical marijuana

Thailand moves to legalise medical marijuana

Thailand is rolling out plans to legalise medical marijuana, an official told on Wednesday, as the country hopes to cash in on a multibillion dollar industry with a product its supporters hail as some of the world’s best.

Several nations have embraced the use of medicinal cannabis, including Canada, Australia, Israel, and more than half the states in the US.

But Thailand would be the first country in Asia to do so, tapping into a market that US-based Grand View Research has estimated could reach $55.8 billion by 2025.

A draft bill to permit its limited use has been sent to the military junta’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

“We have submitted the bill to the speaker,” Jet Sirathraanon, chairman of the NLA’s standing committee of public health, adding that it will have its first reading in the junta’s rubberstamp parliament in less than one month.

The cannabis would be “for medication only, not for recreation,” he added.

Marijuana remains illegal in Thailand, with stiff penalties for drug trafficking even though the country remains a key regional transit hub and producer of narcotics.

But the idea of medical marijuana has long been more acceptable to broad swathes of society in the Buddhist-majority country and junta officials have previously mooted the need to reform drug laws.

Jet said Thailand has delayed making the change for far too long while other countries such as Canada and Australia have seized the moment, including legalising exports.

He cited the revenue-generating possibilities that amending the laws would provide for Thailand as well as the beneficial effects it could have on patients in pain. He also praised the quality of the Southeast Asian country’s plants, which thrive particularly well in the Golden Triangle borderlands of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.

“I’m doing this because it’s an opportunity for Thai people,” he said. “Thailand has the best marijuana in the world.”

Jim Plamondon, vice-president of Marketing at the Thai Cannabis Corporation, described as the country’s first legal marijuana firm said: “Today, Thailand can produce awesome cannabis at a fraction of the cost of Western growers,”

“Tomorrow, Thailand will reclaim its cultural legacy, by becoming the world’s leading grower, processor, and manufacturer of cannabis products,” he said.

“Any company that is serious about cannabis should start moving its supply chain to Thailand.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The