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Thailand to Give Away 1 Million Free Cannabis Plants for Home Cultivation

Let the seeds be planted. Thailand’s government leadership signaled optimism regarding the country’s recent shift in medical cannabis reform with a massive plant giveaway.

Anutin Charnvirakul (Thailand Public Health Minister) announced that 1,000,000 marijuana plants will be given to all households in an August 8th Facebook post. Furthermore, beginning on June 9, Thailand residents will have the freedom to grow “as many cannabis plants” as they like in their own homes for medical purposes, according to Charnvirakul.

Thailand: The Nation Reports Homegrown cannabis cannot be used for medicinal purposes. Home cultivation will be permitted without the need for licensing.

“This will enable people and the government to generate more than 10 billion baht [$288,846,200 per year] in revenue from marijuana and hemp,” Charnvirakul said. “Meanwhile, people can showcase their cannabis and hemp-related products and wisdom and sell their products nationwide.”

2018 was the year Thailand became the first Southeast Asian nation to legalize medical cannabis. In 2020, the Cabinet in Thailand has approved amendments to the country’s narcotics act which would allow for private production and sale of medical cannabis. Thailand was also the first Asian country to allow legal cannabis production in January.

Licensed companies in Thailand can sell hemp products with less than 0.2 percent THC—a tad bit more strict than the 0.3 THC limit imposed on hemp in the United States.

The home cultivation of medicinal cannabis is allowed with few restrictions. But, larger cannabis-related companies must apply for permission from the Thailand Food and Drug Administration to be permitted to operate, he said.

Anyone who grows commercial cannabis in Thailand without first getting permission from the government could face a fine as high as 20,000 baht ($577.76). A license is required to sell cannabis commercially. This can lead to a $300,000 fine ($8,665.76), three years imprisonment, or both.

The intention is to redefine cannabis as a “household crop,” and it’s the latest maneuver in Thailand’s plan to transform cannabis into a cash crop.

About one-third of Thailand’s entire labor force works in agriculture, according to The World Bank.

Thailand’s Free Market

Charnvirakul added that he wants to allow entrepreneurs and businesses to compete freely in Thailand’s cannabis market.

After legalizing medical cannabis in 2018, the country reportedly saw its own “Green Rush,” primarily composed of infused edibles, drinks, and cosmetics companies with a big focus on hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD as well as terpenes. The approval of the use hemp-derived ingredient in cosmetics and edibles led to this.

Dirk De Cuyper was the CEO of S Hotels and Resorts. Benzinga that it is a destination for medical tourism, when asked about the country’s latest developments.

Chopaka and OG Papers discussed Thailand’s growing cannabis industry. “The new market is interesting,” entrepreneur Kitty Chopaka told Chronic NewsA terpene-infused gum company was founded in March. “Because we’re in Asia, many people are curious but don’t want to get high.”

Even though the government is focusing on medical uses, marijuana has long been used in this country for its recreational benefits. Since the Vietnam War, legendary Thai sticks have been shipped to the U.S. They were only selected from the best indicas and tied with silk, bamboo, or hemp stalks. Then, they were rolled in hash (or opium) oil. It was said to be the best quality marijuana in the 1970s. A strong canna tobacco might serve as the modern equivalent. According to Danny Danko in 2015, Thai Sticks fell out of favor years ago as some farmers in the lowlands of Thailand were forced to switch from the cultivation of the country’s stellar sativas for more profitable poppy plants.