Asia Minute: Thailand Considers Medical Marijuana

Dec 21, 2018

Credit Evan-Amos / Wikimedia Commons

Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawai‘i for nearly twenty years. But the concept is much newer in Southeast Asia. And one country in particular sees it as a growth industry.

Thailand is considering legalizing medical marijuana.

The country’s National Legislative Assembly has been moving ahead with a measure that could become law as early as next month. The chair of the legislature’s public health committee told ASEAN Today that “it’s an opportunity for Thai people.”

The Commerce Minister puts it more bluntly, saying “marijuana is Thailand’s future cash crop.”

Thailand has already turned into a regional hub for other agricultural crops. Check the label on any canned pineapple — odds are it comes from either Thailand or the Philippines.

Thailand has also become Southeast Asia’s hub for auto manufacturing with facilities for both production and export. Bloomberg reports that companies in the United States and Canada are looking at Thailand as a potential hub for producing and exporting marijuana.

The country has already become a regional leader in medical tourism with facilities specializing in treatment for travelers from overseas.

The Thai government is trying to craft its legislation so that Thai companies get an edge on production and research and development.

According to India-based Zion Market Research, the legal global marijuana market is expected to reach roughly 63 billion dollars by the year 2024.