Thai authorities have announced plans to begin converting seized cannabis from illicit growers into oil for medical marijuana patients.\r\n\r\nThe police seized more than 1,000 kg from a criminal gang this week and they have passed it on Department of Thai Traditional, Alternative Medicine and the Department of Medical Sciences to process. That will yield 600,000 bottles of cannabis oil for the domestic medicinal market, while the department will hold back 5 kg for medical experiments.\r\n\r\nNiyom Termsrisuk, secretary-general at the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, said his team gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration to make the transfer. He added that this move is not violating any convention on narcotics.\r\n\r\nMost authorities destroy illicit cannabis that they seize, but Thailand clearly feels confident in the provenance and quality of the marijuana it confiscated.\r\n\r\nThis month Thailand\u2019s state-run medical marijuana project has yielded its first 10,000 bottles of cannabis oil, and it began distributing them to patients last week. The outgoing military government legalized medical cannabis in December 2018, and a state-run facility near Bangkok is up and running.\r\n\r\nPlants began flowering in May and the oil is now with patients after being distributed to hospitals across the country.\r\n\r\nHowever, demand vastly exceeds supply right now. The government expects to be producing around 1 million bottles of cannabis oil at the facility by early 2020, but in the meantime it plans to make up the shortfall by working with confiscated cannabis.\r\n\r\nQualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Thailand include epilepsy, chronic pain, Parkinson\u2019s, Alzheimer\u2019s and the side effects of chemotherapy. \u201cDoctors will diagnose each patient and prescribe each formula to be used,\u201d said Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who is playing a key role in driving growth within the nascent industry. \u201cThis will not cause harm or addiction if it is used under medical supervision.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe industry is steaming ahead, but the International Narcotics Control Board is said to be \u201cdeeply concerned\u201d about the rapid liberalization of cannabis laws in\u00a0Thailand.