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Thai medical cannabis patients welcome more affordable access

The country legalised cannabis, including home cultivation for medical use, last week.



Thailand's medical cannabis patients welcome cheaper access
Authorities said the move would boost agriculture by giving farmers a “valuable new cash crop”.

Medical cannabis patients in Thailand say the change in legislation has made supplies more affordable and accessible. 

Patients in Thailand say prices have halved since the country legalised cannabis consumption and home cultivation for medical use, last week.

The Public Health Ministry removed cannabis from the list of prohibited narcotics on 9 June, making Thailand the first Asian country to legalise the private growing and consumption of the plant.

Authorities said the move would boost agriculture by giving farmers a “valuable new cash crop”.

In May it was reported that the government would supposedly hand out one million free cannabis plants to patients following the change in legislation.

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Medical cannabis has been legal in Thailand since 2018, but patients were previously forced to rely on imported products or the illegal market.

Forty two-year-old cancer patient, ​​Jiratti Kuttanam, told Reuters that imported cannabis buds used to cost up to 700 baht ($20) per gram, but prices have since halved.

Kuttanam uses cannabis to ​​manage the pain and sickness caused by her breast cancer treatments, she told the news outlet: “I’ve been taking cannabis regularly so I don’t have to feel pain.”

She added that a “legal, local crop” would mean a “more reliable supply of those products”.

Addressing concerns

On Thursday, Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt issued new regulations preventing the public smoking of cannabis, as well as its sale to people under 20, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

It came following concerns about cannabis products being too easily accessible to children.

In a poll, conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) from June 13-15 on 1,310 respondents aged 15 and above, over a third agreed that cannabis could “generate income and cure diseases”.

However, a quarter of respondents said they feared the legalisation could have an “impact on children” and do not believe the government could “control consumption”.

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Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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