The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) of Thailand on Wednesday says the country is expected to legalise cannabis for medical use by May 2019.
An official of ONCB, Chuanpit Choomwattana, said at a seminar on “Medical Use of Cannabis: Experiences of Australia, Canada and the Netherlands,’’ that legalising cannabis for medical purposes would have to go through several legislative readings.
“The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) will have to pass the first reading to legalise the use of cannabis for medical purpose only.”
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The official added that in February 2019, the NLA would then pass another bill to allow possession of cannabis, but again only for medical purpose before giving cannabis full legalisation before May 2019.
The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) started work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Narcotics Suppression Bureau to launch a research project on developing and mass-producing medicines from marijuana in September.
The Narcotics Suppression Bureau had already given 100 kilogrammes of seized marijuana to the GPO as raw material for research.
The country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, Prajin Junthong, who presided over the opening of the seminar, expressed confidence over the 55.8 billion U.S. dollars lucrative industry, saying “Thailand is a tropical country most suited to grow high hemp plant.
“The Kingdom has the potential to be a world leader in the development and production of cannabinoid medicines, which would enhance the efficiency of medical care and treatment in many patient groups.” (Xinhua/NAN)