Rittipomng Bachkul celebrates the first customer of the day after buying legal cannabis at Highland Cafe in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, June 9, 2022.Sakchai Lalit/AP hide title bar
The first customer of the day, Rittipomng Bachkul, celebrates after purchasing legal cannabis at Highland Cafe in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, June 9, 2022.
BANGKOK — Thailand has legalized growing and possessing marijuana since Thursday, a dream come true for an older generation of cannabis smokers who recall the thrill of the legendary Thai stick variety.
The country’s public health minister said it intends to distribute 1 million cannabis seedlings starting Friday, adding to the impression that Thailand is turning into a weed wonderland.
On Thursday morning, some Thai advocates celebrated by buying cannabis at a cafe that had previously been limited to selling products made from parts of the plant that didn’t get people excited.The dozen or so people who show up at the Highland Cafe can choose from a variety of names such as Cane, Bubblegum, Purple Afghani and UFO.
“I can say it out loud, I’m a marijuana user. When it’s labeled as an illegal drug, I don’t need to hide like I used to,” said Rittipong Bachkul, 24, the first customer of the day.
So far, there doesn’t seem to be any effort to regulate what people can grow and smoke at home other than registering and declaring it for medical purposes.
Thailand’s government said it only promotes marijuana for medical use and warned those who crave smoking in public places, still considered a nuisance, could be sentenced to three months in prison and a fine of 25,000 baht ($780) .
If the extracted ingredient (such as oil) contains more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the chemical that gives people highs), it’s still illegal.
Marijuana’s status remains on the verge of considerable legality because, while it is no longer considered a dangerous drug, Thai lawmakers have yet to pass legislation to regulate its trade.
Thailand has become the first country in Asia to legalize marijuana – also known as marijuana, or ganja in the local language – but it has not followed the example of Uruguay and Canada, which are the only two countries so far that will allow recreational use. The legalization of marijuana.
Workers grow cannabis at a farm in Chonburi province, eastern Thailand, on June 5, 2022.Cannabis cultivation and possession has been legalized in Thailand as of Thursday, June 9, 2022.Sakchai Lalit/AP hide title bar
Workers grow cannabis at a farm in Chonburi province, eastern Thailand, on June 5, 2022.Cannabis cultivation and possession has been legalized in Thailand as of Thursday, June 9, 2022.
Thailand mainly wants to make a splash in the medical marijuana market.It already has a developed medical tourism industry and its tropical climate is ideal for growing cannabis.
“We should know how to use cannabis,” Anutin Charnvirakul, the minister of public health, the country’s biggest cannabis booster, said recently.”If we have the right understanding, cannabis, like gold, is something of value and should be promoted.”
But he added, “We will have additional Ministry of Health notices, issued by the Ministry of Health. If it is a nuisance, we can use that law (to stop people from smoking).”
He said the government was more willing to “build an awareness” than patrolling inspectors and using the law to punish them.
Some of the immediate beneficiaries of the changes are people jailed for breaking old laws.
“From our perspective, a major positive outcome of the legal change is the release of at least 4,000 people imprisoned for cannabis-related offences,” Gloria Lai, Asia regional director for the International Drug Policy Coalition, said in an email interview. ”
“People facing cannabis-related charges will see them discarded, and money and cannabis confiscated from those charged with cannabis-related crimes will be returned to their owners.” Her organization, a global network of civil society organizations, Advocate for drug policy “based on the principles of human rights, health and development”.
Economic benefits, however, are at the heart of cannabis reform, which is expected to boost everything from national incomes to smallholder livelihoods.
One concern is that proposed regulations involving complex licensing procedures and expensive commercial-use fees could unfairly serve large companies, which would discourage smaller producers.
“We’ve seen what happened to the Thai liquor industry. Only big producers can monopolize the market,” said Taopiphop Limjittarkorn, a lawmaker with the opposition “Forward” party.”We’re concerned that if the rules favor big business, something similar will happen to the cannabis industry,” his party hopes laws are now being drafted to address the issue.
On a scorching Sunday afternoon in the Sri Racha district of eastern Thailand, Ittisug Hanjichan, owner of hemp farm Goldenleaf Hemp, held his fifth training session for 40 entrepreneurs, farmers and retirees.They paid about $150 each to learn the art of cutting the seed coat and tending the plants for good yields.
One of the attendees was 18-year-old Chanadech Sonboon, who said his parents had scolded him for trying to secretly grow marijuana plants.
He said his father changed his mind and now sees marijuana as a drug, not something to be abused.The family runs a small homestay and cafe and hopes to one day serve cannabis to guests.
Post time: Jun-22-2022