Marijuana legalization generates over 7-billion-baht income to Thailand, health minister says

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Thailand’s Public Health Minister said on Friday that the country has recorded over 7 billion baht of income after the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.

During a medical conference in Kanchanaburi province, Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that Thailand has made considerable steps in developing cannabis as a new economic crop and generating more income for Thai people.

“We are working to allow Thai people to cultivate cannabis for medical uses without permission like other herbs,” Anutin said.

Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize marijuana for medicinal use by delisting it as a controlled drug  under the Narcotics Code. The new cannabis laws have since paved the way for many to legally grow cannabis for medical and research purposes under the government’s permission. 

However, cannabis products that have more than 2 per cent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element found in cannabis, are still unlawful.

There are currently over 240,000 patients being treated with marijuana in both traditional and modern medicine, according to the public health ministry.

With goals to revive the lacklustre tourism industry, public health officials said earlier this week that they view legalization of cannabis as the nation’s “secret weapon,” one where they could lure foreign visitors. Officials also hope to declare Covid-19 as endemic, a decision they believe will also help pull in tourists. 

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