Earlier this year, thanks to intense lobbying from cannabis activists, Thailand now allows patients to use medical marijuana. Recently, the country also made it legal to grow a few plants at home. It seems to be moving toward full legalization, with an eye on its estimated profits, of course. It has plans for industry, progressive ones at that, and now some are wondering how big of a player it will be on the global stage.
Path to Legalization
As 2018 ended, the military government in Thailand approved medical use of cannabis for legitimate patients. It was an enormous step. One that triggered a series of rapid events. Now, the country intends distributing about 10,000 bottles of cannabis oil to its various hospitals. By 2020, its Government Pharmaceutical Organization, or GPO, intends upping production to around 200,000 bottles.
The Thailand government stands to profit handsomely. As more countries legalize and reform cannabis laws worldwide, the global market is likely to reach $66 billion by 2025. Cannabis delivery will be the norm. However, those executives trying to plant a cannabis foot in Asia by sneaking through Thailand will have to wait, at least five years. Foreign investors will not be able to buy for five years, even more.
From the outset, Thailand does not want any dependence on outside sources. It intends building its own system, using its own money, uplifting its own people, without the need to rely on foreign investment. For those in the country, five years should be enough time to build a system strong enough to support its people primarily.
Now, the main reason why officials in government are happy to legalize medical cannabis and relax is prohibitory laws at such a rapid pace is economic, naturally. The financial boost a legal market can provide is very tempting. Agriculture has always been massive industry in Thailand, with agriculture alone contributing roughly 10 percent of the country’s entire 2016 Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.
Demands of the People
The military junta in Thailand has been arresting and detaining politicians, imposing nationwide curfews, and even banning political gatherings since 2014. Right now, King Maha Vajiralongkorn still has to approve everything. Yet, despite all this, the country legalized medical weed. Again, it is undoubtedly the aim of this government to profit from growing the plant.
However, it was the people, the ordinary folks of Thailand, who spurred this movement from the start. With help from heavy lobbying by pro-marijuana activists, cannabis is now available in a country with one of the hardest policies against drugs in the world. The country plans taking advantage of all the economic opportunities cannabis can provide, since its people are demanding it.
Future of Cannabis in Thailand
Politicians are noticing that having a pro-cannabis stance increases the likelihood of election. Many believe Justin Trudeau won purely because of his support for legalization. In the United States, this trend is continuing, and seems to be further abroad too, even if it causes a few notable bumps on the way. There are fears of corruption and anti-competitive behavior, and Thailand faces the same issues.
With its military government, companies are unlikely to adhere to any laws. However, the rise of legalization, especially in Thailand, the home of many famous strains, will revolutionize medicine, certainly disrupt the pharmaceutical industry, and even bury the alcohol and tobacco industries, some of whom now peddle cannabis to ensure consumers do not leave them behind.
Cannabis Delivery Worldwide
The most intelligent folks around are investing heavily in cannabis. Those that tough out the hard times will reap the rewards of their patience. Soon, marijuana will be legal everywhere, if heavily regulated. Cannabis delivery will be available country to country. You could even get immediate CBD delivery at the press of a button. Thailand intends positioning itself at the forefront of this movement. Time will tell.