Thailand’s Cabinet has approved a Public Health Ministry proposal that would allow farmers, health professionals, and medical patients to cultivate, produce, and export cannabis and cannabis products, the Associated Press reports.
Currently, only government agencies and people with government permission can grow cannabis and develop products for the sector. Last month, the government gave such permission to hospitals, so long as the medicines come from a 16-recipe list and an expert in traditional Thai medicine is on-duty to prepare them. Last year, officials announced they would process seized, illegally grown cannabis into medicines for the domestic market.
Deputy government spokeswoman Trisulee Trisaranakul told the AP that Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul submitted the draft amendment for the Narcotics Act to expand access to medical cannabis in Thailand.
A report last year from Prohibition Partners suggests that Asia’s medical cannabis and hemp market could be worth $5.8 billion by 2024 if legalized throughout the region. Along with Thailand, Pakistan and Uzbekistan have legalized cannabis for medical use, while South Korea allows medicinal use of CBD products.
According to the report, China and Japan represent the region’s two largest-value medicinal cannabis markets – worth almost $4.4 billion and $800 million by 2024, respectively – accounting for an estimated 90 percent share of the market.
Thailand opened its first two medical cannabis clinics in January.
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