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Legalaew: Thailand’s Woodstock | High Times

Thailand’s politicians erroneously believed that they could establish cannabis regulations before removing the plant from its list of narcotics. The deadline came and went, and a two-day event called “Legalaew”—which translates to “Legal Already”—happened on June 11th and 12th.

Arriving at the Highland event, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d visited Chopaka earlier in the day to purchase my first gram of legal flower. I figured I’d treat myself and opted for a gram of End Game at nearly $30USD. The hype will eventually die down and the prices are expected to drop. But I have to say, it’s one of the highest-quality nugs I’ve acquired in the Land of Smiles.

Chopaka, Courtesy Louis Levey

Thailand has come a long way from the compressed—yet impressively potent —brick weed tied together with bright red twine. And I suspect that with more influence coming in from abroad, we’ll see even more high-quality herb hitting shelves nationwide.

Legalaew’s first hour was filled with rainstorms and heavy clouds. As I sat shoulder-to-shoulder beneath a huge white tent, with passionate customers, I wondered if the event actually happened.

The rain cleared up an hour later and the earthy smell of perfectly-cured ganja filled in the air. The only tools for controlling consumption were public nuisance laws and laws that did not apply to cannabis, so it was almost an open-air experience filled with smiles and good vibes.

Louis Levey

It was the mud, sand and dirt beneath our feet that were stickier than the herb. Everyone was watching carefully as it accumulated from the rain, and everyone had to be careful.

It took place about an hour and half away from central Bangkok in Nakhon Pathom. The bongs, joints and other substances were freely distributed without regard for consequences. This is something that every consumer will appreciate.

This was by far the most freedom I’ve seen at a legal cannabis event, with the excitement of it all increasingly apparent with each step deeper inside. But it wasn’t solely consumers enjoying the carefree atmosphere: Thai musicians performed live on stage. Many wore traditional Rastafarian clothing. Some others played traditional Thai instruments in accompaniment to their ganja-themed songs.

Bloom was there, and its clean branding and bright tent made it easy to identify. There were many CBD and THC-infused products on offer. Two Treekings OG stands were set up, each selling infused snacks. They also had neon lighting at night. OG Papers offered Siam-style and flower-style hemp paper.

OG Papers / Courtesy Louis Levey

It is interesting that there was such a large amount of brick weed, which can be found all over Thailand. Most of the sativa enters through borders.

Many who have tried cannabis in Thailand used brick bud. I’d say this reflects on Thailand’s past and is essential to remember as we progress forward in this space.

Installation of Thai Weed Bricks / Credit to Louis Levey

Weerachai is the owner and operator Bong Thai. He has been producing bamboo bongs under the Bong Thai name for three years. Nilnapa’s husband and wife sell their collection of bamboo bongs made by hand and tie-dye fabrics at various cannabis events throughout the Kingdom.

Since Thailand began changing its laws around two years ago, they’ve seen a significant increase in the demand for their Thai-traditional products.

“It’s different from two or three years ago,” he explained. “Now, we’re selling much more than before,” he explained. “In the first year, we were only selling 100, 200, or 300 baht [worth of bongs] per month. In the second year we began selling 1,000, 2000, and 3,000 Baht. [of goods] per month. Now, we’re selling 10,000+ baht worth of bongs per month.”

Louis Levey, Weerachai and Nilnapa in Bong Thai

Additionally, I was able to speak with Boom, Kenny and Broccoli of Kacha. Kacha is a cannabis company that began producing concentrates of cannabis at the peak of the pandemic. It started production right after heavy metals and vitamin E in poor vape cartridges caused fear and panic amongst terp fans worldwide.

“We started off saying that we should create a Thai brand that doesn’t contain any harmful filler product, no filler, no heavy metals. All of them have to be checked here by us,” Kenny explained. “We check that the product is 100% clean and we then move on from there.”

Kacha understands the challenges of creating a market without education. They’re working tirelessly to support consumers in Thailand, as well as outside of the Kingdom.

“We’re trying to build a market at the moment, and we have multiple sales happening around the world, mainly in California. But first, we have to build an idea here, a beautiful image of a Thai brand,” Kenny said. “We’re hosting events now. Zenco is a concentrated cannabis extract in a drinkable format. We held a yachting adventure last month. This yachting adventure was fun and successful. It is also one of the first experiences with cannabis yachting in Thailand and Pattaya. We might host another one soon.”

Broccoli and Kenny talk about Kacha, the future of Thai cannabis concentrate, and more / Courtesy Louis Levey

Equally important to mention is the Rescue & First Aid booth on-site. There were a couple of emergencies during Legalaew. It was not an extremely serious situation.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure everyone is safe at the event,” explained the head of Rescue & First Aid, Bank. “On the first day, we had a woman who was crying and too high in the water after eating an infused brownie. We went in and took her out of the water, checked her out to make sure she was stable, but she was all right after so we didn’t need to send her to the hospital.”

Thailand, keep smoking!