Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) is pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana, mostly for its economic benefits.
GPO, a Thai state enterprise which manufactures pharmaceutical products, is governed by the country’s Ministry of Health Department.
Tapping into the medical marijuana market would make Thailand the first Asian country to legalize cannabis. This will also allow the country to be a part of a $10 billion market.
Currently, it is projected that the global marijuana market is capable of reaching approximately $23 billion in the next four years.
Medical marijuana in Thailand
Jim Plamondon, vice president of marketing for Thai Cannabis Corp, states that Thailand could really benefit from medical marijuana.
“No other country offers the combination of benefits that Thailand offers within a single jurisdiction. Thailand has not only the large medical tourism industry, it also has an unparalleled system of traditional medicine that is regulated and standardized.”
Plamondon is part of the country’s first legal marijuana business, which is working alongside Maejo University to produce products and medication.
The government’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board’s Deputy Secretary-General Wichai Chaimongkhon explains that the law amendment allows Thailand to become more international.
“If it’s proven that the medicines could cure diseases like Parkinson’s disease, cancer, depression, then I believe it’s a benefit and could create revenue if we export the medicines out to sell in other countries.”
Although the law remains tough on marijuana, cannabis and Thailand have a long-standing history from as far back as the Vietnam War.
Thailand in the 1980s was one of the world’s top exporters of cannabis.