Will Medical Cannabis be the Answer to Thailand’s Economic Woes?

At the end of 2018, Thailand made history by becoming the first Asian country to legalize medical cannabis.

The move was a significant surprise, considering that almost all of Thailand’s Southeast Asian neighbors routinely hand down stiff penalties for using or selling drugs, including marijuana.

But the military government behind the 2014 coup, which still holds the levers of power in Thailand to this day, saw medical marijuana as an economic gold mine for the country.

Now, both foreigners and locals in Thailand can use and carry medical cannabis assuming they have a prescription from a certified doctor.

And the country just approved legislation to allow the private production, export, import, and sale of medical marijuana to make up for shortages in the supply of medical cannabis products.

Many Thai officials think that both the legalization and loosening of laws surrounding cannabis production will lead to an economic boom in the nation, which is sorely needed in the wake of an economic downturn spurred on by the total decline in tourism caused by the COVID-19.

Chairman of The National Farmers Council of Thailand Prapat Panyachartrak said Thailand expects to rake in somewhere in the ballpark of $3 billion per year in the cannabis market.

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