Thailand is rapidly becoming an international leader when it comes to cannabis policy. In 2018 Thailand legalized hemp and CBD products, and then expanded its law in 2019 to help more patients.
When it legalized medical cannabis, Thailand became the first country in the entire region to do so, and while other countries in the region have been slow to reform their own laws, reform in Thailand has certainly provided a boost to momentum for further reform in South-East Asia.
The government in Thailand recently announced yet another reform, which will involve adding cannabis to the nation’s ‘essential drugs’ list. Per Bangkok Post:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing to expedite the listing of cannabis in the National List of Essential Medicines, a move intended to ensure its availability to those who need it, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday.
Speaking at the official opening of the Institute of Medical Cannabis, Mr Anutin said since the Public Health Ministry approved the use of cannabis and hemp for medical and research purposes, more than 50,000 patients have been prescribed cannabis-based treatments by licenced health professionals.
Whereas cannabis remains on many controlled substances lists around the globe that prohibits its use, Thailand is embracing the cannabis plant as a medicine and that is something that other countries will hopefully emulate.
Adding cannabis to the essential drugs list is the latest move by Thailand to encourage the cultivation and use of medical cannabis by its citizens, and to further promote cannabis as the country’s next big cash crop.
“So far, 2,500 households and 251 provincial hospitals have grown 15,000 cannabis plants,” deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul recently said according to Bangkok Post. “We hope that cannabis and hemp will be a primary cash crop for farmers.”