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Multipurpose marijuana could light up another economic engine for Thailand

This undated handout photo released by Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital on January 14, 2021 shows a worker examining cannabis plants in a crop being grown in Prachinburi Province, to be used in dishes at the Abhaibhubejhr Spa Cuisine restaurant in Prachinburi, east of the Thai capital Bangkok. (Photo by Handout / Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital / AFP)

Marijuana could generate up to Bt8 billion for Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry over the next five years, but farmers stand to make little from growing the herb, experts say.

Last year, Thailand removed cannabis and hemp leaves from its list of banned narcotics (seeds and buds remain banned).

Individuals are still prohibited from growing marijuana for sale, though universities, community enterprises, medical professionals and traditional medicine practitioners can seek a licence to grow it commercially.

“We believe marijuana has great potential as a cash crop because more patients will start using marijuana-based drugs soon,” said Ravissa Suchato, an economist at Kasetsart University’s Agricultural and Resource Economics Department.

 

 

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