Thailand May Expand Production of Medical Cannabis

Thailand is continuing to further their medical cannabis program.
Thailand May Expand Production Of Medical Cannabis

As of today, the Cabinet in Thailand has approved amendments to the country’s narcotics act which would allow for private production and sale of medical cannabis—a huge step in the Thai cannabis market, which until now has been minimal. The amendments, which were proposed last month, have cleared the Cabinet, but still need to be approved by Parliament before they officially become law.  

Thailand has already made major headlines for being the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical cannabis to some degree. However, initially, only the Thai government could grow cannabis, so the industry was very limited and unable to progress further because of all the restrictions. Now, if the five-year ban on private sector cannabis is finally lifted, as many predict it to be, everything will change for the local industry. 

The Current Status of Cannabis in Thailand

Under the current restrictions, only state agencies are able to produce, import, or export cannabis to or from Thailand. No one outside of the government or government-backed farmer groups or universities were able to apply for the licenses to do so. Furthermore, it is not legal to apply for a new license to grow cannabis, and the date for applying for new licenses is currently 2024. This left many frustrated about how the industry could move forward. 

Now, under this new system, if it passes, people from outside of Thailand will be able to get involved with the industry; they just won’t be able to hold shares that exceed one-third of a company. In other words, Thai people will still have to be the chief shareholders in all cannabis companies, but others can finally get involved. International travelers can also apply for import or export licenses now in order to bring cannabis into or out of the country in order to treat an illness. 

“The law will promote the pharmaceutical industry and increase competitiveness, which will be important for Thailand in becoming a leader in medical cannabis,” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul explained. Those who obtain licenses will now be eligible for selling or producing cannabis, instead of leaving the power only in the hands of a few. 

Additionally, Thailand has finally removed cannabis extracts from its narcotics list and opened clinics for medical cannabis. While cannabis has been medically legal in Thailand since 2017, it took this long for the industry to really get going, and cannabis is still a category-five drug in Thailand, meaning possession can be punished by up to 15 years in prison or hefty fines. In some countries in Southeast Asia, cannabis trafficking can still carry the death penalty, so these moves are still major for Thai people. Even being able to buy and sell legal cannabis in the market is a huge step. 

Thailand still has a way to go before reaching anything like a healthy industry or full legalization, but if this amendment passes, 2021 could see a lot of exciting new possibilities for medical cannabis in Southeast Asia and for the medical cannabis industry worldwide.

  1. Definitely good news for Thailand’s cannabis industry. While cannabis-based medicines are currently available in Thailand, supply has been a major issue. Many clinics simply refuse to see new patients as they cannot provide enough medicine for the number of people seeking cannabis-related treatment.

    1. Absolute good news! The medicinal community,patients, and Thailand economy will benefit. When as predicted the five year ban on private citizens growing marijuana is lifted,local economics would be bolstered.Thai’s would be the only people allowed two thirds owner-ship in a cannabis company, if this five year ban is lifted

  2. It is time for Thailand style reddish brown cannabis to be added to – legal grown – world cannabis supplies. All the medical bud I buy in the USA is green. I have spoken to several legal cannabis growers and none know brown bud. I searched online to see if anyone has something about why that weed is brown, and unknowing individuals say that it was dried and/or stored incorrectly. That cannot be the case, due to the growing, harvesting, drying and storage knowledge handed down through multiple generations of productive cannabis farmers who are the typical producers of bud in Thailand. I am asking you to assist me in this worthy effort, because good brown bud can provide many cannabis users certain good benefits better than the green bud.

    I am a Maryland, USA Medical Cannabis patient. In 1970-71, I smoked cannabis from Thailand that was smuggled in by American GIs who had been stationed in Thailand. The few Thai Sticks they brought in were green, but the more widely available loose bud they imported was always brown to reddish brown. With the brown being of moderate strength and lower THC than the – very strong – high THC green on sticks. All I ever see at local dispensaries today is green, of all THC levels, but the brown is much better for a variety of medical issues that a consumer may suffer.

    From the 1960’s to the mid 70’s, the majority of the cannabis available was brown, mild mannered, Mexican, low THC level product. A few years into the 70’s, Colombian weed came on the market in Maryland. It was fair market rate at $35 an ounce when Mexican was $20, so that tells you what the differences in qualities are. It was about twice as THC powerful as Mexican – the same THC level and characteristics of good reddish brown Thai weed. I have smoked some of each, over the years, and know what the facts are about the various effects.

    Reddish brown buds tastes good, and its effects provide good, earthy, solid medical help along with relief from the regular toils of life. It works wonderfully well & positive on the body more than the brain, so it deserves a place among the variously effective & medically helpful dried green strains.

    I am campaigning to raise awareness of the benefits of brown cannabis, along with its proper growing/harvesting/drying techniques. I am asking you to assist me in this worthy endeavor, because good brown bud can truly help many cannabis users experience good benefits. I need info from Thai growers who produce the wonderfully consumable brown buds. But I am a disabled vet on a low income pension who cannot afford to travel anywhere, though I crave to travel again.

    I am a photographer and writer, who posts all over the World Wide Web, and will work with you on this issue in anyway I can.

    The 1960’s to 70’s American marijuana smoking revolution began with brown Mexican bud, which proves that it is good cannabis.

    It is time to bring back the good brown bud to America’s, and all the world’s, cannabis markets.

    Photography and Writings by David Robert Crews {a.k.a. ursusdave}

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