Thailand legalized cannabis growing and food and beverage consumption on Thursday, the first in Asia to do so to boost agriculture and tourism, but smoking in public places may still violate public health laws.
Shoppers line up at stores selling cannabis-containing drinks, sweets and other items. Cannabis advocates have welcomed the reform in a country that has long built a reputation for stringent anti-drug laws.
Among the first to line up at a store in Bangkok, 24-year-old Rittipong Dachkul has been waiting to buy legal marijuana since Wednesday evening.
“I took the bus here after work,” Rittipong told Reuters.
“Now it’s easy to find and I don’t have to worry about the source, but I have no idea about the quality.
Thailand, which has a tradition of using cannabis to relieve pain and fatigue, legalized medical marijuana in 2018.
The government plans to donate 1 million plants to use the plant as a cash crop to encourage farmers to start growing.
“With the economy hitting bottom post-COVID, this is really necessary,” said Chokwan Kitty Chopaka, who owns a store that sells cannabis gum.
However, authorities aim to prevent explosive uses for recreational purposes by limiting the strength of the products offered.
The possession or sale of cannabis extracts containing more than 0.2% of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is not permitted.
Those who break the law can still face jail time and fines.
The declassification of cannabis as a drug comes as Congress debates the draft cannabis bill, which means some confusion over how it can be used legally in the meantime.
Cannabis growers must either register with a government app called Plook Ganja or register Grow ganja, another nickname for the prickly plant. About 100,000 people have signed up for the app, said Ministry of Health official Paisan Dankhum.
Some were concerned about quality control among many new growers.
“The levels of THC and other contaminants in products are difficult to control and can be hazardous to consumers,” said Suphamet Hetrakul, co-founder of the Teera Group, which grows medical cannabis.
The Ministry of Health has approved 1,181 products, including cosmetics and food products containing cannabis extract, and expects the industry to generate revenues of 15 billion baht ($435.16 million) by 2026.
Big companies are jumping in.
Agricultural conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcland energy company Gunkul Engineering has teamed up to produce extract-infused foods and beverages.
Thailand Legalizes Marijuana Growing and Consumption – SABC News
Source link Thailand Legalizes Marijuana Growing and Consumption – SABC News