Farmers giddy over new medical marijuana law

Longtime cannabis activist Buntoon Niyamabhra called on the government to cancel patent applications from foreign multinationals
The Bangkok Post (Thailand)
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thai farmers welcomed a new law allowing cultivation and use of marijuana for medical purposes, in an Asian first that promises an economic bonanza but also fears that foreign companies could reap the rewards. Thailand's National Assembly passed a bill legalising the use of marijuana and kratom – a traditional herb – for research and medical use. The bill, which still outlaws recreational use and has strict limits on the amount an individual can carry, requires royal assent. The National Farmers Council of Thailand praised the law as providing a "new economic crop" to help farmers diversify their production. But some fear foreign companies and pharmaceutical giants are in pole position to scoop up valuable patents to produce the medical cannabis and extracts.