By / November 21, 2019

Citizens will be allowed to grow cannabis in Thailand

The government is allowing citizens to grow cannabis in Thailand.

Thailand is in the process of amending its legislation to allow all citizens to grow up to six cannabis plants and sell their own crops to the government, which will sell them for medical purposes.

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The legalities of cannabis in Thailand

Recreational cannabis in Thailand remains illegal, with punishments including imprisonment. Cannabis enthusiasts hope the medical cannabis boom will eventually result in more lax laws on recreational use.

“We are in the process of amending the law to allow citizens to freely use cannabis for medical purposes,” said Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul in Bangkok recently. “We believe that cannabis will be one of the main agricultural products for Thai households. We are speeding up the change in legislation, but this is a process that takes time.”

“In the near future, families will be able to plant cannabis in their home gardens like any other plant,” Anutin mentioned in September.

The growing cannabis industry in Thailand

In addition to historical home-growing regulations, Thailand has built what the government calls the “largest industrial-scale cannabis plant in Southeast Asia.”

On Sept. 2, scientists from Maejo University planted 12,000 new cannabis seeds in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.

Farmers prepare for the boom of cannabis in Thailand.
Thailand is in the process of amending its legislation to allow all citizens to grow up to six cannabis plants. (Source)

According to the Asia Times, the cannabis seeds were supplied by the government’s Medical Service Department. Officials expect the plants to be harvested within six months.

The promising shoots are being grown inside a newly built 3,040-square meter greenhouse with controls for temperature, moisture and light. Officials expect the plants will produce medical-grade cannabis flowers and buds within six months.

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) has great expectations for growing cannabis. The GPO hopes that the harvest will allow the production of one million bottles of hemp oil by February 2020.

Thai universities may start developing their own strains

“The university will be a place where ordinary people can learn how to plant and grow quality cannabis. Cannabis is not a matter of politics; it is a product that can have positive effects on people’s health,” Anutin said.

Maejo University has reportedly developed a cannabis strain called “Issara” (independence), which has equal levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The university’s researchers say that future strains will offer differing levels of CBD and THC to treat illnesses and symptoms requiring other ratios. Officials hope more Thai universities, labs, agricultural experts and botanists will produce additional local strains.

Cannabis in Thailand may be more profitable than rice

Citizens will be able to plant cannabis in Thailand.
Experts indicate that the legal cannabis industry would have higher profitability than that obtained by agricultural production. (Source)

Anutin predicts that fully legalized cannabis will be a more significant and profitable crop for Thailand than rice, sugar cane, tapioca, rubber or other products rooted in the country’s agricultural economy.

At least 13 hospitals have reportedly received licenses to dispense cannabis oil extracts to patients with prescriptions. A classroom inside a hospital recently began teaching the public how to grow medical-grade cannabis.

He also assured citizens that any well-grown cannabis plant could be sold to the government for $2,225. An entire household could earn $13,350 on the sale of the entire allocation of six cannabis plants.

This is quite a tempting prospect, given that the average salary in Thailand is reportedly $8,200 per year.


(Featured image by Evan Krause via Unsplash)

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