Hospitals in Thailand can now make and provide cannabis-based medicines selected from a government-approved list of 16 recipes for traditional Thai medicines that contain cannabis as a base ingredient, the Bangkok Post reports.
Dr. Marut Jirasetthasiri, director-general of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, said that health promotion hospitals in the country are now free to make the medicines so long as there is an expert in traditional Thai medicine on duty to prepare them. The medicines were traditionally prescribed to help treat common illnesses in each region of the country.
Dr. Marut said the demand for traditional medicine treatments has increased so the department has allowed 152 health promotion hospitals to expand their cannabis farms. There are currently 291 units offering cannabis-based medicines at state-run medical outlets throughout the country, and more than 60,000 cannabis-based treatments have been issued so far this year, according to the report.
In January, a health clinic in Chiang Mai became the country’s first medical outlet to offer the cannabis-based medicines.
Thailand legalized the medical use of cannabis in late 2018, making it the first Southeast Asian country to do so. Adult-use cannabis, however, remains prohibited.
A proposal last November would have allowed Thai citizens to cultivate up to six cannabis plants at home and sell their harvests back to the government to be processed into medical cannabis products.