Thailand will give 1 million weeds.

Thailand said it plans to donate 1 million cannabis plants to households across the country so that a law that allows residents to grow cannabis for personal medicinal or small commercial purposes goes into effect next month. Enterprise.

The project, announced this week by Thailand’s health minister, is the latest move in Thailand’s efforts to establish itself as a leader in Asia’s nascent cannabis industry, as evidence grows that the United States and other major economies are liberalizing laws on marijuana. There is. medical benefits.

Industry analysts say these measures could help attract more international visitors to Thailand and boost medical tourism.

But the next time you travel to Bangkok or the postcard-perfect tropical island of Thailand, don’t expect California-style cannabis outlets. Under current Thai law, recreational use of the highly potent marijuana is still prohibited, and tourists convicted of drug possession can face up to 15 years in prison.

Thailand’s campaign kicked off in 2019 with the first law in Southeast Asia to allow the use of medical marijuana. The rule now allows the sale of cannabis with low percentages of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.

A large-scale plant dissemination project will begin next month, allowing residents to grow medical grade (ie, low THC) marijuana without government permits. Large businesses require a permit.

The botanical giveaway was meant to align with a recent government decision to remove cannabis from the list of drugs considered illegal under drug laws starting in states, such as new laws on cannabis cultivation that take effect after June 9. of June. the project news Reported earlier this week On CNN and other news outlets.

Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Health Sophon Mekthon said this month that the government plans to promote ideas for a wellness industry that includes recreational cannabis use, Bangkok Post newspaper reported. report.

But when the drug law is updated next month, it’s still unclear whether dried flowers, which are part of the cannabis plant, will be removed from the government’s list of banned substances, said book author Carl K. Linn. all newsletter I wrote about cannabis in Thailand on Thursday.

If only cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp were removed from the list, he wrote, the government’s plans to promote recreational pots “will one day be just a proverbial dream”, he wrote.

Either way, it is noteworthy that Thailand is making slow but steady progress toward decriminalizing marijuana. Because Thailand is in a region where the government has long imposed harsh penalties on drug users. In neighboring Singapore, for example, possession carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, and trafficking in persons carries the death penalty.

Thailand’s promotion of decriminalization has a political aspect. The country is run by a military government that came to power in a 2014 coup d’état, some backed by a military-backed political party in Congress when a military-appointed National Assembly unanimously voted to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 2018. I thought it might help to get election the following year.

One such party, Bhumjaithai, is led by Anutin Charnvirakul, who said in a 2019 campaign trail that small-scale cannabis cultivation could bring an additional $13,000 per year to each household. He was later appointed Minister of Health.

Charnvirakul, who wrote about plant dissemination measures on Facebook this week, presents a business opportunity with a new marijuana policy that the country expects to generate more than $300 million in annual revenue from marijuana and hemp.

“It’s a free market,” he wrote. “Just do it the law.”

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