The festival is set to take place between the 29th of January and 2nd of February. It may sound as though this will be Thailand’s “Burning Man”, but the event is supposed to be more business than pleasure. The goal is for the event to be an academic affair, gathering industry leaders from around the world to discuss the benefits of medical marijuana and the potential market for recreational marijuana.
Thailand has invited Chinese, Japanese, and American cannabis leaders to present their academic ideas. Thailand legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2018 and has plans to legalize recreational use in the near future. Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to do this. Their goal is to get ahead of the game in hopes of using marijuana to help boost their economy. Thailand has developed the world’s first national strain (Issara 01), showing that they will soon be ready to partner with global companies.
As world leaders and countries begin to develop their own strain of weed and hold cannabis-related events, people are becoming more accepting of the plant. A global cannabis economy may soon be a reality. It is one thing to see a movie star talk about marijuana, but when global leaders, scientists, and big companies discuss the benefits of cannabis, many people will be less likely to hold on to the negative stigma surrounding the plant.
In the past, Thailand has widely been known for their natural products such as their magic mushroom shakes and pizza. Marijuana and other drugs could easily be bought at certain bars, and psychedelic mushrooms could sometimes be found on laminated menus. Currently, Thailand does have strict drug laws. Thailand allows for the death penalty for anyone caught carrying, transporting, or using drugs. These laws are often not applied to westerners, however many travelers are still behind bars awaiting trial. In 2001 Thailand made world headlines by publicly executing five people, four of which were drug smugglers, by firing squad. As Thailand moves to legalize marijuana, hopefully they revise their previously enforced laws.