Why is Asia divided on a green light for medical marijuana?

silluette of marijuana leaf against sunset
Thailand, the sole Asian country to legalise cannabis for medical use, is so keen on educating locals about the drug’s benefits that tourism and sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn this month unveiled a medical marijuana tour that will cover eight provinces, set to kick off next year. But not too far away, in Singapore, top officials are singing a starkly different tune.

Thailand gears up for marijuana tour

marijuana leaves

The Tourism and Sports and Public Health ministries in Thailand are ready to launch the first medical marijuana tour in Southeast Asia next year as they finalised a draft programme for plantations across Thailand.

The goal of the tour is to increase awareness of marijuana for medical purposes and inform those who are interested in growing the plant of the laws, said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister. Eight provinces have plantations that could be part of the tour, comprising Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Samut Songkhram, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Phatthalung and Chon Buri.


Thailand to Allow Cannabis and Hemp in Food and Cosmetics

Pizza with a marijuana leaf

The health permanent secretary said the government plans to allow use of most parts of cannabis and hemp plants in food and cosmetics on Wednesday.

Kiattiphum Wongrajit said the Narcotics Control Committee resolved on Tuesday to exclude the leaves, branches, stems, trunks, bark, fibre and roots of cannabis and hemp from the government’s narcotics list.

This would not include shoots, including flowers, which have high drug content.


Thailand is 1st Asian Country to Legalize Medicinal Cannabis and Enter Global Market

Asian countries have not been known for their acceptance of cannabis either as a recreational drug, or for its medicinal value. Thailand is the first Asian country to break stride, legalizing medicinal cannabis, and opening up a global export market.


Patients 'improving' on weed treatment in Thailand

Initial studies have found that patients, including those with cancer, have benefited from cannabis extract treatment and it may inhibit cancer cell growth, according to the Government Pharmaceuticals Organisation.

GPO specialist Nanthakan Suwanpidokkul said on Monday studies were being conducted after GPO started distributing medical cannabis products to public and private hospitals in August last year.

She said the Prasat Neurological Institute and Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health found that symptoms had improved in 10, or 62%, of 16 children suffering from difficult-to-treat and intractable epilepsy.


Thailand Hopes Medical Marijuana Will Boost its Lagging Economy. But Not Everyone's Convinced.

A stand presenting cannabidiol (CBD) oil products is seen during the opening of a cannabis clinic at the Department of Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine in Bangkok on January 6, 2020. Photo credit: Mladen ANTONOV / AFP


Thailand Bets on Private Medical Marijuana to Lift Economy

Thailand’s ailing economy, particularly its tourism and agriculture sectors, is poised to get a boost from new rules that ease the private cultivation and sale of medical marijuana.

The Cabinet amended the Narcotics Act on Aug. 4, pending Parliament’s approval, to allow private medical operators -- a category including some traditional medicine practitioners and farmers -- to grow and trade the crop including for both export and import. The move expands a cornerstone policy of Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who bet that the controlled legalization of marijuana would boost the wellness, travel and agriculture sectors.


Thailand May Expand Production of Medical Cannabis

As of today, the Cabinet in Thailand has approved amendments to the country’s narcotics act which would allow for private production and sale of medical cannabis—a huge step in the Thai cannabis market, which until now has been minimal. The amendments, which were proposed last month, have cleared the Cabinet, but still need to be approved by Parliament before they officially become law.  


Thailand Hospitals get green light to produce cannabis meds

Health promotion hospitals in the provinces have been given the go-ahead to concoct traditional medicines using cannabis to cure illnesses common in their areas, the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine says.

The department has authorised the hospitals, formerly known as suk sala clinics, to produce traditional medicine from among 16 recipes permitted by the government which include cannabis as their base ingredients, said Marut Jirasetthasiri, the department director-general.

The hospitals, however, must have a traditional Thai medicine expert on duty to prepare the medicine.

Dr Marut said the hospitals will be free to produce medicines which they believe will provide effective cures for common illnesses in the localities.


Thailand: Medical cannabis joint venture launches

Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) is teaming up with partners to research, develop and produce cannabis and hemp products for medical purposes.

The collaboration is outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Srinakharinwirot University (SWU), Mahidol University and Kasetsart University.

THG chairman Dr Boon Vanasin said the MoU is aimed at developing and carrying out research on medical products from cannabis and hemp extracts that are easy to use, efficient and suitable in the treatment of many diseases.

The aim is to create quality medical-grade cannabis products that are affordable to the Thai people, said Dr Boon.


Subscribe to RSS - Thailand