News and Trends / Global Business

'A New Year's Gift:' Thailand Approves Medical Marijuana

The Southeast Asian country becomes the first to do so.
'A New Year's Gift:' Thailand Approves Medical Marijuana
Image credit: Shutterstock.com
Entrepreneur Staff
Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur
1 min read

Big news out of Thailand. The country's National Legislative Assembly made an amendment to the country's constitution that legalizes the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes. The vote wasn't even close: 166-0. 

Related: Uruguay Legalized Marijuana and the Crime Rate Has Plummetted

Somchai Sawangkarn, one of the lawmakers who helped write the legislation, said it was  “a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people."

Thai farmers are stoked about the decision. 

"I expect Thailand can make 100 billion baht a year ($3.07 billion) from growing cannabis and selling the raw material and cannabis oil," chairman of The National Farmers Council of Thailand, Prapat Panyachartrak, told Agence France Presse.

But don't go lighting up a celebratory spliff in Bangkok just yet. The recreational use of marijuana is still highly illegal in the country -- and could lead to 15 years in a Thai prison and stiff financial fines. 

Related: This Is Non-Negotiable: Cannabis Legalization Must Include Restorative Justice

By Javier Hasse
From retailers to growers, producers, and suppliers, there’s a seemingly never-ending list of startup opportunities in this emerging market. In Start Your Own Cannabis Business, marijuana, biotech, and entrepreneurship reporter Javier Hasse introduces forward-thinking entrepreneurs like you to the industry and shares hard-earned tips and success stories from pioneers and visionaries in the marijuana industry.
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