‘Greenway of life’: Thailand sees cannabis boom after law change

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‘Green way of life’: Thailand sees cannabis boom after law change

Southeast Asian country is seeing an explosion in cannabis products since plant’s removal from banned narcotics list.

Cannabis Thailand
New supply chains for cannabis products are emerging in Thailand since the Southeast Asian country removed the plant from its list of banned narcotics [Courtesy of Vijitra Duangdee]

By Vijitra Duangdee

Published On 11 Jul 202211 Jul 2022

Bangkok/Pattaya, Thailand – Mada, 21, works at a weed dispensary in eastern Thailand, her boyfriend grows cannabis plants at home, and several of her friends sell bongs, pipes and buds in pop-up stalls and bars.

Thailand has gone “baa her”, or crazy, for cannabis since the plant was effectively decriminalised last month.

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New supply chains are rapidly sprouting for products based on cannabis and its derivatives, from cannabis leaves used in sriracha hot sauce and gummy bears infused with terpenes – the compounds that give cannabis its taste and smell – to hemp teas and pre-rolled joints.

“My age group ‘Gen Z’ don’t really drink alcohol but we do smoke weed,” Mada told Al Jazeera, sitting slightly bleary-eyed behind a counter at a hastily assembled dispensary in Pattaya.

Thailand’s removal of cannabis from its list of banned narcotics on June 9 was intended only to make it easier for growers and consumers of cannabis products to access the plant for medicinal or culinary purposes. Smoking the drug recreationally remains against the law.

Nevertheless, recreational use has also taken off across the Southeast Asian country, driving a nascent business in cannabis buds, cookies and beverages that police are unable to stymie under existing drug laws.

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