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Tourism and health officials plan to launch “medical cannabis tour” next year

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PHOTO: Unsplash: manish panghal

A tour of medical cannabis at plantations across Thailand is in the works. While the tours could potentially be open to tourists, officials say the tour is for educational purposes and will first be for those interested in starting grow operations. The Public Health Ministry along with the Tourism and Sports Ministry plan to launch the tour next year. It would be the first “medical cannabis tour” in Southeast Asia.

Tourism and Sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the tour will be aimed to educate people about the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Thailand’s Tourism Department is working with the Thai Traditional Alternative Medicine Department to potentially promote the tour routes for medical tourism.

“In the early stages, the programme aims to educate locals who would like to form a community enterprise and bid to become authorised cannabis growers. This programme will pave the way for a basic understanding of marijuana and its economic benefits.”

Cannabis for recreational use is still illegal. Thailand legalised cannabis for medical use in 2018, becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to do so. Only state agencies and those approved by the government are allowed to grow cannabis for medical purposes.

There are now cannabis plantations in 8 provinces: Mae Hong Song, Lampang, Samut Songkhram, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Phatthalung and Chon Buri.

“We should consider marijuana as a legacy from the past worth preserving. Thais have used this plant as medicine since the King Narai era…Its medicinal properties were later verified by modern research.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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