Authorities in Thailand plan to extend the scope of cannabis use in the country, which has been afflicted by the availability of cheap narcotics. In a recent interview, Anutin Charnvirakul, the country’s Minister of Health, stated that he was advocating for a new legislation that would allow licensed marijuana cultivators to use whole plants for commercial and medicinal purposes. Current law opposes this, with licensed growers only being allowed to use the plant’s stalks, stems, leaves and roots.
The partial ban on the plant’s other parts was approved during the country’s legalization process for cannabis as the cannabis plant’s seeds, buds and flowers usually contain high amounts of THC. THC is the main psychoactive component found in the marijuana plant, which induces a high.
Anutin stated that by the end of 2022, the use of the entire marijuana plant will be legalized, urging licensed cultivators to produce more plants for supplementary income. Under the new law, every household will also be permitted to grow six plants of marijuana for limited sales to add to their income and also for personal use.
Legislators hope that this initiative will enable farming families to grow cannabis and use the plant to make cosmetic products or sell their produce to hospitals run by the government as part of a project to generate income. Earlier in the year, the health minister told cultivators in northeastern Thailand that hemp and cannabis were economic crops and could be used to generate revenue.
He added that government officials were focused on easing restrictions to allow easier access to the crop, noting that he hoped people would use it correctly. The Health Ministry is hopeful that the legalization of cannabis will lead to a decline in the availability and/or use of heroin and cheap methamphetamines such as yaba, as well as the use of illegally produced cannabis.
In November, law enforcement officials seized large amounts of illegally trafficked narcotics, including hundreds of kilograms of illegally produced cannabis, several hundred kilograms of crystal meth and a couple million pills of methamphetamine. The Narcotics Suppression Bureau believes that most of the illegally trafficked narcotics are brought into the country from the Shan state in Myanmar through various borders. At the moment, the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is banned in the country.
The plant’s medical use is permitted, however, with individuals suffering from specific medical conditions being allowed to use the herb for medicinal purposes at wellness centers, hospitals and other facilities.
At this rate of cannabis legalization, companies such as Simply Sonoma Inc. could soon find themselves having a huge international market to service.
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