A drafting committee in the Thai Legislative Assembly is working on a bill to legalize marijuana in the state. However, many people are wondering whether the country is ready for this move. An analysis of the factors on the ground shows that the road to legalization has a lot going for it while some obstacles remain, as explored in the discussion below.
Why It May Be Time for Legalization
A long history of cannabis use. Cannabis had been used for centuries in Thailand before it was outlawed in 1934. Laborers had for long used it to relax their sore muscles while expectant mothers used it to ease labor pains. The plant was also used as a cooking ingredient. These deep roots of cannabis use also gave the industry the word “bong” derived from Thai. This long history of use therefore makes the legalization of cannabis a no-brainer for this country.
The locals are experts in cultivating the plant. The benefit of the long history of cannabis use in Thailand has also resulted in generations of expert cannabis cultivators in the country. The locals are so good at this that they can identify a seed that will grow into a male plant! Legalization would allow these experts to practice their craft and earn from it.
Thailand is home to a unique cannabis strain. Thailand has a unique cannabis sativa strain that is sought after across the world because of its high THC content. This strain has a citrus aroma and it gives a high that doesn’t cause the user to be lethargic or drowsy. Legalization can allow this gift of nature to be exploited commercially.
But, There Are Roadblocks…
U.S. influence may delay legalization. Thailand has deep ties with the U.S. spanning decades. In fact, the banning of cannabis in 1934 was a result of U.S. pressure on the country. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) even maintains an office in the country. As things stand at the federal level in the U.S., it would be expecting too much for one to think that the U.S. will not try to influence the process of discussing whether marijuana should be legalized or not.
Concerns over foreign firms. The road to legalization is likely to be bumpy as local firms jostle with foreign entities for control of the cannabis industry. Already, a storm is brewing about pending patents that have been filed by foreign companies. Locals see this as an attempt to lock them out of the industry, and they aren’t taking it lying down. The bill being drafted may stall while a way out of this storm is found.
All in all, global trends and the need to boost the agriculture-based economy of Thailand are likely to provide the momentum needed to pass medical cannabis legislation quickly in order to take advantage of the opportunities available.
VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) and Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF) hope that any stumbling blocks can be resolved quickly so that the people of Thailand can enjoy the economic and medical benefits that the marijuana industry has to offer.
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