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Buri Ram province chosen as first site for medical marijuana harvesting




Thailand’s northeastern province of Buri Ram has been selected to be the first to harvest medical marijuana at home under a ministry-sanctioned pilot project. The community that has been selected by the Cannhealth Institute, is located near a hospital in the Isaan province and features 10 houses in the provinces Khu Muang district.

Each house would be allowed to grow 6 cannabis plants in its garden, with Dr Kitti Losuwanrak, the director of Cannhealth Institute, saying they need to use non-contaminated soil and water for harvesting because “we only accept quality, chemical-free cannabis”.

Kitti says the project is part of the aim to allow ordinary citizens to grow medical marijuana and is being led by the Minister of Public Health. However, the project still needs to jump through a few hoops to get government approval – one being from the Food and Drug Administration as growing marijuana is still illegal, despite it being for medical use.

“Villagers can grow cannabis in their homes, as all they need is sturdy fences.”

The Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, and leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, has always been a strong advocate of relation of rules related to cannabis and marijuana in Thailand. The Bhumjaitahi party’s votes are crucial to the government’s fragile coalition.

The community was selected because villagers showed the interest and ability to follow ministry rules, according to Bangkok Post. If approved, the north eastern province will become the first in the country where people can grow medical cannabis in their homes without getting into trouble.

“The Ministry of Public Health want to observe the feasibility of homegrown marijuana by using this pilot as a test case. If the outcome is encouraging, the ministry is going to expand the project to other provinces.”

The government approved the legalisation of medical cannabis at the end of 2018, but it is only approveable by the state. Now, the health ministry is lobbying to amend the narcotics law to allow people to grow. Kitti says if the test community is approved, it could start the process of growing by early 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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