Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha used medical cannabis oil at an event designed to promote the government’s new online marijuana portal.
Prayut and various cabinet ministers posed for pictures with a mascot called Dr. Ganja at the launch party for the new site, www.medcannabis.go.th. It provides Thais with information on how to cultivate cannabis, the medical research conducted on it, the legal status of marijuana.
The Prime Minister got involved in the action by sampling a small amount of oil as the news cameras rolled at the high-profile event. Dr. Ganja is a giant cannabis leaf wearing a doctor’s coat and stethoscope, and he was joined by beaming children that held marijuana leaves.
His outgoing military junta legalized medical cannabis in what it called a “New Year’s gift” to the people at the end of December 2018. He remained in control of Thailand after a general election yielded a civilian government earlier this year, and he has continued to push through increasingly liberal marijuana policies.
The government has a facility near Bangkok and it is ramping up production of cannabis oil there, while it has also been turning seized marijuana from the black market into medicinal cannabis products if it meets the required purity and safety standards.
It is now planning to allow citizens to grow cannabis at home and sell it to the government to earn extra cash. Each household will be allowed to cultivate up to six cannabis plants, which they are then permitted wholesale to the government.
The new website explains how best to cultivate marijuana and lays out the legal framework of the country’s new industry. It features a number of videos and infographics, plus educational articles and FAQs that arm Thais with plenty of information.
“This website will serve as a bridge to link the public to the academic information and facts about the use of cannabis for medical purposes,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the main driving force behind the liberalization of cannabis in Thailand.
Last month, the Southeast Asian nation unveiled its first dedicated medical cannabis clinic, and a further 31 are poised to open soon. Dozens more clinics across the country are now licensed to offer cannabis-based treatments to qualifying patients and the nascent industry continues to gather pace.