Thailand steps up legalization efforts for medical purposes
Soon, all Thais will be able to grow six cannabis plants in their homes and sell their local harvest to the government for medicinal purposes.
"We are changing the laws to allow the medical use of marijuana freely," Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in Bangkok on Wednesday. "We are convinced that marijuana will be one of the main agricultural products of Thai households. We are accelerating legislative changes. But there is a process. "
Last September, Anutin hinted: "In the near future, families will be able to plant cannabis trees in their gardens like any other herb".
In addition to the historic push for regulation of domestic culture, Thailand has built what the government describes as the largest industrial-scale medical marijuana facility in Southeast Asia.
The September 2, researchers from Maejo University have planted 12000 new seedlings in northern Thailand, in Chiang Mai, under the eyes of government officials. The seedlings were provided by the government's Department of Medical Services, according to the Asia Times. Officials expect plants to produce within six months.
The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) hopes to grow the plants to harvest enough ingredients to make one million bottles of cannabis oil, each containing five milliliters, by February 2020.
Is this a political question?
"The university will be a center where ordinary people can learn how to plant and grow good quality cannabis. Cannabis is not a policy issue; it's a product that can be good for people's health, "said Anutin.
While Aninin says that cannabis is not a political issue, it caused unrest before the general election in Thailand in March, campaigning for the legalization of domestic culture. He led the campaign of his medium-sized party, Bhum Jai Thai (proud to be Thai), earlier this year during the parliamentary elections by promising that every household could grow six marijuana plants. By the way, his sharei Bhum Jai Thai is now part of the ruling coalition.
He also assured his constituents of their economic advancement by proposing the sale of each mature marijuana plant to the government for the sum of $ 2225. Subsequently, a household could earn 13 350 $ by selling its entire batch of six plants. A pretty attractive prospect, considering that the average Thai salary is 8 200 dollars a year, nationwide (ie 24 000 baht per month).
Before Thai citizens are hopeful of a possible rush for green grass, crop experts warn that all mature plants do not produce medical grade cannabis. Moreover, those who do it are difficult to cultivate. Amateur growers could probably produce inferior marijuana. However, if one does not take the time to properly maintain plants or invest in basic necessities such as nutrients and appropriate lighting equipment, the flower produced may not be eligible for use. medical, which could be bought by the government.
If adult cannabis use is allowed, private growers could make more natural profits from the protein crop with less quality control.
Anutin predicts that legalized marijuana would be a more important and lucrative crop for Thailand than rice, sugar cane, tapioca, rubber or other products in its country's predominantly agrarian economy.
He suggested that Thailand's low wages could quantify competitiveness in international markets, compared to large foreign cannabis companies where manufacturing costs are much higher. Although, as the world seems to be rushing towards the market to take advantage of the plant's healing and profitability opportunities, emerging competitors in Latin America, Africa and elsewhere in Asia may overtake Thailand.
Anutin believes that Thailand could gain a competitive advantage by creating niche strains for export.
Maejo University has reportedly developed a strain of marijuana she calls "Issara" (independence), which offers percentages of 1: 1 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), according to the Asia Times.
Thailand has become the first Southeast Asian nation to legalize medical marijuana and kratom, in 2018. The use of cannabis by adults remains illegal in the kingdom and is punishable by imprisonment. However, if Anutin maintains the supposedly apolitical momentum, it may soon be a thing of the past.