Medical Marijuana Legalization Comes into Effect, But Experts Fear Monopolization

Everybody from Thai farmers and scholars to ordinary people are rejoicing in Thailand after the National Legislative Assembly legalized medical cannabis, but experts warn that the hasty legislation could leave the door open to monopolization of the country’s burgeoning weed industry.

The wariness stems from the fact that the Thai military government passed the law without rejecting and removing all medical cannabis patent attempts from established and well-funded foreign pharmaceutical firms in the industry, a promise authorities had made.

Experts on the production of cannabis argue that the foreign companies could use their experience, technological capabilities, and existing research to get an unfair advantage on Thai companies who are just entering the sphere of growing weed for medical purposes, and potentially monopolize cannabis production in Thailand.

“Though it is good that cannabis for medical treatment is now legal in Thailand, the time frame of the legislation is totally inappropriate,” Panthep Puapongpan of Rangsit University told The Nation. “The NLA [National Legislative Assembly] has betrayed the public, because it broke its promise to not enforce the law before the legal process to remove all controversial cannabis medicine patent applications is completed.”

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