Cannabis pushed as next cash crop for Thai farmers

Thailand is promoting cannabis as a cash crop for the country’s farmers, a senior official said yesterday.

“Everybody has the right to grow marijuana by partnering up with provincial hospitals for medical use,” deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said, adding that those interested would have to also seek approval from authorities.

“So far, 2,500 households and 251 provincial hospitals have grown 15,000 cannabis plants,” she said.

“We hope that cannabis and hemp will be a primary cash crop for farmers.”

Others that can seek licenses to grow cannabis include universities, community enterprises, medical professionals and traditional medicine professionals.

The announcement comes after Thailand last year removed some cannabis and hemp parts from its narcotics list.

Cannabis can also be used in food and beverages at restaurants, as long as it came from an approved producer, Traisulee said.

The state drugmaker, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, said it would buy cannabis from approved enterprises for up to 45,000 baht (HK$11,635) per kilogram, for those containing 12 percent cannabidiol.

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