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Government ready to develop medications, rejects seized marijuana

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Government ready to develop medications, rejects seized marijuana | The Thaiger
by Khanittha Thepphajorn and Kornrawee Panyasuppakun

The move to getting medical marijuana legalised is edging closer. The bill on the issue has already made headway through the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). 

Yesterday, a bill was passed with 145 votes, allowing marijuana to be used for medical and research purposes. Only one legislator abstained. The NLA’s Somchai Swangkarn said a vetting committee on the bill has also been established.

“We believe the NLA will take 60 days to deliberate this draft.”

The Nation reports that, over the period, he also expects relevant authorities to sort out cannabis-related patent issues after several civic organisations expressed concerns that all patent applications submitted to the Intellectual Property Department came from foreigners. If this is true, then once medical marijuana is legalised, foreign firms may try to monopolise the market.

“Government agencies should find ways to ensure that foreigners will not keep Thais away from the benefits of marijuana and kratom,” Somchai said.

NLA member Kitti Wasinondh hopes the assembly’s deliberation will ensure that the new law for medical marijuana can facilitate research in both public and private sectors.

“Even the government should not be allowed to monopolise the benefits of marijuana,” he emphasised.

Some research suggests that cannabinoids can be useful in the treatment of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer and more. With the prospect of marijuana being legalised for research and medical purposes, the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) and some government agencies have, in fact, already launched a study in preparation for the development of marijuana-based medicines.

The police handed over 100 kilos of confiscated marijuana to the GPO last month for research.

However, the marijuana taken from drug rings is unfit for medical use as traces of pesticides, and heavy metals showed up in lab tests conducted by the Medical Science Department (MSD).

All three samples of marijuana from the confiscated lot contained insecticides – namely chlorpyrifos, and cypermethrin – as well as traces of lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. In fact, one sample had both insecticides, as well as arsenic and mercury.

MSD was told to conduct tests as GPO is looking into the possibility of using cannabis to develop sublingual drops for patients.

Opas Karnkawipong, MSD director-general, said on Friday the seized marijuana could not be developed into medication because it contained chlorpyrifos, a chemical farmers use to deal with pests.

Read more about this story in The Nation Weekend HERE.

Government ready to develop medications, rejects seized marijuana | News by The Thaiger

Opas Karnkawipong, MSD director-general (left) and Nuntakan Suwanpidokkul, director of GPO’s Research and Development Institute (right) during a press conference at Department of Medical Sciences on Friday. PHOTO: The Nation

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Property

“No stimulus for property sector” – Thai finance minister

The Thaiger & The Nation

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“No stimulus for property sector” – Thai finance minister | The Thaiger

The Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana told a seminar in Bangkok yesterday that the government’s stimulus packages were for the ‘grass roots economy’ and the property sector can cope on its own, without any government assistance.

He was speaking at a property seminar hosted by the Krungthep Turakit newspaper yesterday. He said that that the real estate sector could readily adjust to the Bank of Thailand’s loan-to-value (LTV) criteria on mortgage loans that took effect last April.

“The government’s latest economic stimulus packages are aimed at helping revive the grassroots economy, and that should in turn benefit to the property sector.”

The 316 billion baht stimulus package approved by the Cabinet on August 20 focuses on cash handouts for low-income earners and domestic travellers and extends soft loans to drought-afflicted farmers.

The upbeat finance minister also said that, once the US-China trade war is sorted out, the Thai economy will expand at a faster rate.

“The Thai economy continues to expand.”

“Regardless of what happens with the US-China trade talks, GDP growth will reach 3%, as forecast by the National Economic and Social Development Council.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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Business

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Inspections at the property in March this year – Kritsada Mueanhawong

Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka has gone ahead and filed a long list of formal complaints over The Peaks Residences Condominium project being built in the hills above Kata Noi in Phuket.

The Palang Pracharat MP has also claimed to have had death threats made against him over his investigations and accusations over the condo’s land titles and ownership in recent weeks.

The MP filed an official complaint with the Department of Special Investigation chief in Bangkok this morning.

The complaint alleges that the Karon Mayor Tawee Thongcham and the municipality “neglected their duties” by issuing permits to Kata Beach Co Ltd, the developer of the The Peaks Residences Condominium.

In February this year the Karon OrBorTor issued a construction permit for the project but in April municipal officials also sent a letter acknowledging the ongoing legal proceedings over the legitimacy of the land title, the NorSor 3 Kor Number 1863.

The complaint alleges that the project is being built on land with a NorSor 3 Kor No. 1863 land title. The complainants allege that the legal land document would have had to have been presented to obtain building permits and construction to proceed. But they claim that, as the NorSor 3 Kor for that land was under consideration by the Administrative Court, a legal building permit could not be issued.

In August 2017, the Regional Administrative Court ruled that the NorSor 3 Kor No. 1863 land title was invalid. Furthermore it determined that the land was “protected forest land”.

The DSI formally received the complaint documents this morning.

Meanwhile, the developer of The Peaks Residences Condominium, Manassanan Nararattanawee, the CEO of Kata Beach Co Ltd, maintains that the project’s paperwork is all “proper’ and that “everything is under the law”.

“Our company has already suspended construction to wait for the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court.”

Officials from the Internal Security Operations Command inspected the property in March this year as the owners promised to ‘slow down’ construction. Read that story HERE.

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Department of Special Investigations

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Technology

More than four million guests stayed in an Airbnb on August 10, 2019

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More than four million guests stayed in an Airbnb on August 10, 2019 | The Thaiger

“Airbnb has created an opportunity to meet people from all around the world.” – Pim, an Airbnb Host in Thailand

Exactly 11 years since Airbnb was founded, the home-sharing hospitality company and ‘accommodation disrupters’ celebrated its biggest night ever, with more than 4 million people spending the night in an Airbnb listing on August 10, 2019.

To date, there has been more than half a billion guest arrivals at unique homes and properties all over the world since the company was founded in August 2008.

To work towards bringing the world closer, Airbnb has created the Airbnb Connection Index, which reflects the pairings of countries and regions between hosts and guests. For example, when a guest from Thailand becomes the first to stay with a host in Iceland, a new connection is made. In return, when an Icelandic guest becomes the first to stay with a host in Thailand, another new connection is made.

In 2010, the Airbnb platform had facilitated more than 1,300 connections. By 2015, that number had increased to more than 16,500.

More than four million guests stayed in an Airbnb on August 10, 2019 | News by The Thaiger

Today, approximately 26,000 connections have been made via the Airbnb platform, and by the end of 2019 more than 30,013 connections are expected to be made as the platform grows even further.

With the current presence of the Airbnb platform in 245 countries and regions, it is mathematically possible for there to be 60,025 place-to-place connections. By the year 2027, Airbnb predicts that there will be in excess of 50,000 connections.

As outlined in a recent report, much of Airbnb’s fastest growth is occurring in emerging destinations, propelled by a rising demand for travel to places across Asia Pacific, Africa, and Latin America.

Pim, an Airbnb Host in Thailand, shared, “Airbnb has created an opportunity to meet people from all around the world. It makes me understand that different cultures can live together. We can be happy, we can share, we can have good memories together no matter where you come from.”

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