Thailand to distribute one million free marijuana plants

A marijuana plant (Photo: Misael Valtierra/ Cuartoscuro)

The Minister of Public Health of Thailand, which has spearheaded the process of decriminalizing marijuana, said the government will distribute 1 million free plants. once most restrictions on cannabis production and possession are lifted next month.

Anutin Charnvirakul sanctioned in February a measure that removed marijuana from a list of controlled drugs. The regulated consumption had been legalized in 2018 with various restrictions gradually eased since then.

The authorities hope that a new marijuana industry flourishes, one that not only generates hundreds of millions of dollars directly, but also attracts foreign touristswho have begun to return after a long absence during the coronavirus pandemic.

A worker inspects cannabis plants at the Rak Jang farm in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand (REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa/File Photo)
A worker inspects cannabis plants at the Rak Jang farm in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand (REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa/File Photo) (CHALINEE THIRASUPA/)

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

When the measure enters into force, on June 9, it will be The possession and consumption of all parts of the cannabis plant, including flowers and seeds, is authorized. But the extracted content will still be Illegal if it contains more than 0.2% of the psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

About a third of its workforce works in agricultureaccording to the World Bank.

Anutin said Sunday on his Facebook page that It will no longer be necessary to obtain a permit to grow the plant at home, as long as it is declared to be for medicinal purposes and does not exceed the legal maximum of THC.

A legal cannabis farm in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand (REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa)
A legal cannabis farm in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand (REUTERS / Chalinee Thirasupa) (CHALINEE THIRASUPA /)

However, for the moment the authorities have not explained how they will enforce compliance with the conditions. Anutin said they will surrender 1 million plants starting in June and that people will be able to grow as many as they want.

Large-scale enterprises should obtain permission from the country’s Food and Drug Administration to manufacture cannabis-derived productsto be used mainly in medicines and added to food.

In a region known for its strong sanctions against illegal drugs, Thailand became in 2018 the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize cannabis for research and medical use.

Last year, the Thai beverage and cosmetics companies rushed to launch products with hemp and CBD, a compound that does not generate the psychoactive effect in users, after its use was approved for consumer goods.

With AP information

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