“Khao San Road should be a cannabis hotspot to boost tourism” – local businessman

“The chance for the government to use cannabis to boost tourism shouldn’t be turned down.” The words of a local Khao San Road businessman who sees an opportunity in the government’s recent announcement to decriminalise cannabis products.

President of the Khao San Road Businesses Association, Sanga Ruengwattanakul says that foreign visitors passing through the infamous party strip “could be encouraged to consume cannabis responsibly, which could motivate other popular tourist destinations like Pattaya and Phuket to jump on board.”

His cunning plan follows the announcement to decriminalise cannabis products on June 9 but is awaiting specific legislation to be debated and passed in the Thai parliament.

“The government should press for ID verification when selling cannabis to avoid sales to minors and demand vendors and store owners to set dedicated areas for smoking.”

However, Sanga’s entrepreneurial spirit has been dampened by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration which has responded by saying they have neither the power nor the interest to make Khao San Road Thailand’s “cannabis hotspot”.

“With the lack of laws that guarantee all cannabis products sold are up to standards and safe, Khao San Road being a hotspot for cannabis could harm Thailand’s reputation.”

The BMA has also said that the area, despite its party reputation, isn’t appropriate due to the numerous temples and schools nearby, according to Deputy Bangkok governor Jakkapan Phiewngam.

He reminds the public that it is still illegal to sell food and drinks mixed with cannabis (with a THC level over 0.2%).

“Only the Public Health Ministry has the authority to control the cannabis market and not the BMA.”

Bangkok’s law enforcement agencies have been directed to search every district in Bangkok for any cannabis related products, specifically around school areas

Currently, retailers and stall owners who plan to sell cannabis-based products must register every item with their regional district offices.

“It’s prohibited to make any modifications to the products that have been registered with the authorities without the district office’s approval.”

Bangkok businesses openly selling cannabis and marijuana have attracted a curt response from the new Bangkok governor, Chadchart Sittipunt, who says that viral videos showing merchants openly selling the plant could eventually damage the city’s image.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Pete is a writer for The Thaiger, and he writes various topics from news, travel and property. His main focus is writing about Thai news, and what is happening in Thailand.