Thai Government Opens Way For Citizens To Grow Their Own Cannabis – And Sell It Back To the Government
In a unique twist to what is going on in Europe right now, the Thai government has suggested that it would soon pass a measure allowing Thai citizens to grow up to six cannabis plants at home. For now, at least, the government envisions an environment where such crops could also be sold back to the government for “medical use.”
According to Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, “We have confidence that marijuana will be among the major agricultural products for Thai households. We are speeding up the changes. But there is a process.” The same minister also hinted as of September that families will be able to grow cannabis in their back gardens just like any other herb.
The announcement comes after the Thai government unveiled what it describes as the largest industrial-scale medical cannabis facility in Southeast Asia. University researchers from Maejo University planted 12,000 seedlings in September. The crop should be ready by March next year if all goes well.
However, beyond just the crops planted there, the university is setting up to teach Thai farmers how to grow cannabis. Cannabis as an economic development tool is also on the agenda for political parties. The health minister’s party is currently suggesting that the sale of each mature plant, even grown in semi-professional cultivation circumstances, could fetch up to US$2,225 – meaning that families could earn $13,350 for their entire crop.
The average annual Thai salary is about $8,200.
Of course the average Thai citizen, just like the average person, can not just go out and “grow medical” – certainly not that is integrated into formal pharmaceutical channels. Globally, there are high standards (that are also expensive to attain) before any substance, including cannabis, can be considered as a medical product. This certification process – also known loosely as GMP – is also the standard required internationally for medical exports beyond the existing international treaties that also govern the same.