Thailand’s cannabis industry grows and it has already built the largest medical marijuana facility in Southeast Asia
Thanks to more progressive laws and low wages, Thailand’s cannabis industry grows day after day. The law that allows each household to grow 6 marijuana plants in the garden for sale to the government implies an involvement of citizens in the modern medical cannabis industry in this country of Southeast Asia, and everything seems to indicate that politicians consider the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
The new policy to allow each Thai home to grow six marijuana plants for sale to the government is beginning to take root in the people. On the other hand, Thailand has built the largest medical marijuana facility in Southeast Asia with 12,000 plants grown. For now, recreational use of cannabis is illegal in Thailand. But activists believe that the medical cannabis industry is a first step towards the legalization of marijuana for personal enjoyment that will be reflected in more permissive and less harsh laws.
On September 2, some government officials were present at a ceremony held in the northern city of Chiang Mai. During the ceremony, researchers from the University of Maejo planted 12,000 new marijuana seedlings. The seedlings are being grown inside a newly built 3040 square meter greenhouse that has systems for controlling temperature, humidity and light. The seeds for the 12,000 new seedlings were donated by the Government Medical Service Department. These 12,000 shows that Thailand’s cannabis industry grows.
The government expects the new plants to produce medicinal cannabis flowers within six months. The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) will use the resin of the flowers to produce a million bottles of cannabis oil. Each bottle will contain five milliliters of cannabis oil. The jars will be prepared in February 2020. Anutin Charnvirakul, the new Minister of Health of Thailand, created the law to allow people to grow up to six marijuana plants in the home is a historic milestone. People can learn to grow good quality marijuana in college. Anutin, who also cultivated some of the new 12,000 new plants, insists that marijuana is a plant that benefits the health of human beings.
Anutin Charnvirakul was responsible for directing the election campaign of the Bhumjaithai (Proud to be Thai) party with the promise that each household could grow six marijuana plants. By selling each plant already matures the government for $ 2,225, a family could earn $ 13,350 for the six plants. Foreign cannabis experts have already warned that not all plants produce medicinal grade cannabis, and those that do are difficult to grow. Inexperienced citizens who do not know which plants produce medical marijuana could produce normal weed. But the plants obtained would not be purchased for medicinal use by the government. But if recreational marijuana is legalized, private growers would make money easier since the requirements for recreational marijuana would be less stringent than those for medical marijuana.
Anutin Charnvirakul believes that the legalization of recreational marijuana would be a bigger and more lucrative crop than rice, sugarcane, tapioca, rubber and other products together in Thailand, which is an eminently agricultural country. The minister also emphasized the fact that Thailand’s low wages would make the cannabis industry very competitive internationally. But this is not entirely true since there are other countries in Latin America, Africa and other parts of Asia that could surpass Thailand in this regard. What is a reality is that at the moment Thailand’s cannabis industry grows very rapidly.
According to international analysts, Thailand would need to develop cannabis varieties to sell abroad. The University of Maejo has developed a cannabis strain called “Issara” (independence), which has equal percentages of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In the future, Thailand will develop cannabis varieties with different percentages of CBD and THC to treat diseases that need other proportions. The authorities hope that more Thai universities, laboratories, agricultural experts and botanists produce additional local varieties. The director of the Maejo Natural Agriculture Research and Development Center says he already plans to expand marijuana cultivation abroad throughout Thailand, since the climate is perfect for local strains that grow in many parts of this country. What is a reality is that Thailand’s cannabis industry grows.
13 hospitals have already licensed to dispense cannabis extracts to prescription patients. A hospital in the province of Pranchinburi has dedicated a classroom to teach those who wish so how to grow medical marijuana. Namphol Danpipat, director of the Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr hospital, said on September 17, that this training course consists of lectures in the classroom and practical sessions in closed crop plots and that the goal is to provide students with optimal cultivation techniques that produce cannabis of the best quality for medical purposes. This course is called “Organic cultivation of medical cannabis for farmers and the general public”.
Teachers in this course will teach students how patients can use CBD and THC, how to prevent damage from fungi and pests, and what government regulations should be taken into account to produce marijuana for medical use. Thais have cultivated marijuana for hundreds of years for different uses, including medicinal, relaxation, food recipes and recreational use. But strict medical quality is a new concept for traditional growers. The mythical and amazing variety of illegal “Thai Stick” marijuana from Thailand was number one for millions of young Americans from the hippie era and later during the 1960s and 1970s. The truth is that it was the most expensive marijuana that could be bought in San Francisco and other cities of counterculture. But it was worth paying a few dollars more for that excellent sativa. But it was never investigated in the development of new varieties.
Meanwhile, in recent years many new strains have been obtained in the United States, Canada, Europe and other mainly Western countries. Thailand is behind these countries where medical and recreational marijuana has been legalized and developed to produce a wide variety of strains with CBD and THC levels suitable for medical use. Withoon Danwiboon, director of GPO, said that most Thai cannabis strains contain more THC than CBD, which makes them more suitable for recreational use. Thailand’s cannabis industry grows, but the country is worried about foreign competition. Thailand has approved a budget of $ 4 million last August to expand government-controlled marijuana farms for medical purposes. Last month, Thailand showed its first pharmaceutical laboratory to the media in which it produced CBD and THC oils, tablets, oral sprays, chocolate wafers and traditional potions for medical use. The managers were very proud of their small but effective garden of 72 cannabis plants for laboratory study.