Highland hosted a weekend festival in Nakhon Pathom province on June 11, 2022. LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA AFP BANGKOK Thai businesses are cashing in with cannabis-infused products like toothpaste, tea, soaps and snacks after the government legalised the plant and its extract this year, generating a wave of interest in the drug.
Pakpoom Charoenbunna, 32, who buys a cannabis-infused drink from his regular milk-tea vendor, said it gives me a deep and comfortable sleep.
Thailand was the first Southeast Asian country to legalize marijuana in 2018 for medical use and research.
The entire plant was decriminalised in Thailand last month. A surge in recreational use has resulted from the removal of cannabis from its narcotics list. There is a chemical in cannabis that doesn't make users high, and commercial products approved by the food and drug regulators can contain cannabidiol CBD.
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The regulator limits the content of tetrahydrocannabinol THC, the active ingredient that gets users high, in any cannabis product to just 0.2 percent.
Thailand has long history of using cannabis in traditional medicine to relieve aches and pains. Surawut Samphant, owner of the Channherb cannabis shop, has created a toothpaste.
He said that the CBD in cannabis sativa seed oil is one of the ingredients of SAKCHAI LALIT AP.
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Surawat said the toothpaste helped with gum care and a satisfied customer said it worked for him.
Nikom Rianthong said that they have receding gums and sometimes get infected.
He said that he won't go back to other brands, because he solved my problems.
The owner of the Kanomsiam dessert shop, Kreephet Hanpongpipat, has long sold pandan-leaf flavoured dishes, but a year ago incorporated cannabis leaf to draw in new customers.
Kreephet said his customers say that the cannabis-infused desserts help them get a good night's sleep.
The industry could be worth more than $3 billion within five years, according to health minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the main driver behind the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes.
He told Reuters that they want to see people getting rich from doing these products in a positive way.
My policy on cannabis is focused on medical purposes and health care. We can't encourage the use of cannabis in other ways. Producers of THC-rich marijuana have taken advantage of the push to promote medical marijuana and stalls selling pot have sprung up around the country.
Anutin said that there were public health laws that can prevent recreational use, while a bill on cannabis is being debated in the legislature. Kreephet said there needed to be more public education on the benefits and dangers of cannabis so it can be used safely.