Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha used a medical cannabis vape and rubbed cannabis oil behind his ears as Thailand debuted a new educational website to help patients better understand the country’s new medical cannabis program.
At an event promoting the new government-run cannabis website, Prayut spoke about the use of medical cannabis and said it represents a potential treatment option for low-income people in particular. He also posed for photos with Dr. Ganja, a large cannabis leaf mascot, with children carrying their own Dr. Ganja plush toys.
Thailand legalized medical cannabis in 2018, but received its first medical cannabis shipment until August 2019. The country plans to open 31 more clinics soon, but is allowing patients to legally grow up to six plants at home. The website will show patients proper cultivation techniques and educate them on current research surrounding the plant.
“This website will serve as a bridge to link the public to the academic information and facts about the use of cannabis for medical purposes,” Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at the event.
The country has also considered a law allowing its own citizens to grow cannabis and sell it back to the government. Charnvirakul believes cannabis could be a more lucrative crop than rice, sugarcane, tapioca and rubber.
In an effort to promote the development of medical cannabis products, Thailand has also removed certain cannabis and hemp extracts from its banned substances list. Extracts containing less than 0.2 percent THC will be removed from Category 5 scheduling, which can result in punishments of up to 15 years in prison or roughly $50,000 USD.