Thailand’s Ministry of Health reaffirms its position discouraging recreational cannabis
Health authorities reiterate that they only support medical uses of cannabis and do not sanction recreational use. The Minister of Health says cannabis has medical benefits, similar to other Thai herbs that are now internationally recognized.
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reiterated the government’s policy on cannabis, saying his ministry supports the correct and safe use of cannabis for medical purposes. He pointed out that the recreational use of cannabis has never been encouraged, with a recent Health Ministry announcement banning abuse.
One of the goals of the 20-year national strategy is to increase the use of Thai herbal products. This is pursued with the aim of making Thailand a regional leader in herbal health products. Sustained growth should help transform Thailand into a regional center for plant-based innovations. Mr Anutin said Thailand is expected to generate nearly 50 billion baht in revenue from herbal medicinal products this year.
Dr. Prapon Tangsrikertikul, Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, visited Nakornping Hospital in Chiang Mai to check the performance of the hospital’s cannabis clinic. He noted that the declassification of cannabis as a narcotic creates more opportunities for research into the medical applications of the herb. He added that the use of medical cannabis increased after the declassification, especially in traditional Thai medicine practices.
Dr Prapon, who is also an adviser to the Minister of Health, said Chiang Mai’s plan to promote medical cannabis in 2022 has three stages. The first step is to develop connectivity and networks between cannabis and hemp growers through a learning center for the cultivation of medical cannabis, while the next is to promote cannabis restaurants that meet quality and security. The third stage involves the opening of medical cannabis clinics in the four pilot districts of Saraphi, San Patong, Mae Wang and Hot.(NNT)