The Thai government will distribute one million free cannabis plants to households across the country in June to mark a new rule allowing people to grow cannabis at home, the health minister has said.
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced the move in a Facebook post on May 8, expressing his intentions to grow cannabis plants as "household crops."
Growing at home
The new rule, which comes into effect on June 9, will allow people to grow cannabis plants at home after notifying their local government, but the plants must be medical-grade and for use only. medicinal purposes are used. In addition, the cannabis may not be used for commercial purposes without further licenses.
This new law is the latest step in Thailand's plan to promote cannabis as a cash crop. In a region notorious for harsh penalties for illegal drugs, in 2018 Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize cannabis for medical research and use.
The kingdom has also relaxed local cannabis laws. Thai beverage and cosmetics companies rushed to launch products containing hemp and CBD last year after their use was approved for consumer goods.
Commercial Cannabis Plants
In another Facebook post on May 10, Anutin noted that Thai companies that registered could sell cannabis products containing less than 0,2 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the part of the plant responsible for the high. “This will allow people and the government to generate more than 10 billion baht a year in revenue from marijuana and hemp,” Anutin wrote.
Kitty Chopaka, a Bangkok-based cannabis entrepreneur, told CNN the law is intended to clear the way for all people to use the plant in medicinal tea or soup. “It's still considered criminal if you don't have a legal prescription for the treatment of some condition. Only then can you grow cannabis at home and use it however you want.”
She added that while recreational use of the drug remains illegal, smoking weed will happen. That cannot be stopped or maintained in any way.
Source: edition.cnn.com (EN)