Thailand gives away 1 million free cannabis plants

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced a move on May 8 in a Facebook post expressing his intentions for the cannabis plant to be grown as a “household crop”.

The new rules, effective June 9, will allow residents to grow cannabis plants at home after notifying the local government, but the plants must be medical grade and only used for medicinal purposes. Additionally, cannabis cannot be used for commercial purposes without an additional license.

The move is the latest step in Thailand’s plan to promote cannabis as a cash crop. According to the World Bank, about a third of the workforce is engaged in agriculture.

In a region notorious for harsh penalties for illegal drugs, Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize cannabis for medical research and use in 2018.

The kingdom also relaxed local laws against cannabis. Beverage and cosmetic companies in Thailand are rushing to launch products containing hemp and CBD, compounds that are not pleasing to users after they were approved for use in consumer products last year.

Anutin noted in an additional Facebook post on May 10 that a registered Thai company could sell cannabis products that contain less than 0.2 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a part of the plant that excites people.

Anutin wrote, “This will enable people and governments to generate more than 10 billion baht per year in revenue from marijuana and hemp”.

Bangkok-based cannabis entrepreneur Kitty Chopaka told CNN that the law is intended to pave the way for people to use cannabis in medicinal teas and soups.

“If there is no legal prescription and it requires a patient with some form of disease to function properly, it is still considered a crime. Only then can you grow cannabis at home and use it as you wish.”

“There is no way that cannabis smoking will happen, and there is no way,” she said, despite the recreational use of the drug remaining illegal. [government] You can stop it.”


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