Thailand is a regional leader when it comes to medical cannabis policy. It was the first country in its entire area to legalize cannabis for medical use.
That may not seem like a big deal being that it was only a handful of years ago. However, given that the region where Thailand is located is home to some of the harshest cannabis laws on earth, it’s a very big deal.
Over half of the countries where cannabis carries a potential death penalty are located in the same region as Thailand.
Earlier this year Thailand legalized home cultivation of up to six plants per household, nationwide (something that is still not the case in many other nations on other continents).
Embracing Cannabis Research
Many countries around the world make it very difficult to research the cannabis plant, including the United States.
Cannabis prohibition policies in some countries are such that research is nearly impossible, or at least hindered to the point that it is virtually nonexistent.
Thailand is not one of those countries. In fact, cannabis research is embraced so much in Thailand right now that the government recently announced the creation of an international cannabis research center.
According to a government press release, “Thailand’s Public Health Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RxLeaf World Medica on establishing the International Medical Cannabis Research Center. The latest movement is a part of Thailand’s plan to be a world-class cannabis production and development hub.”
“The center aims to be a knowledge hub for genetic research on medical cannabis, bringing together doctors, researchers, experts from Canada, the Netherlands and other countries to conduct cannabis products research and development while at the same time exchanging the medical cannabis knowledge,” the press release also stated.
Government Loans For Cultivation
News of the international cannabis research center comes on the heels of a separate government announcement that Thailand’s government will issue loans to boost domestic cultivation.
Thailand’s Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) started offering loans to aspiring cannabis cultivators starting in September 2021.
In February 2021, Thailand’s deputy spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul stated to international media that “Everybody has the right to grow marijuana by partnering up with provincial hospitals for medical use.”
The government loan program will provide financial assistance to farmers in Thailand that are looking for an alternative crop to rice, cassava, and rubber trees. The interest rate for the government-backed cannabis loans is a mere 0.01% per year for the first three years.