Thailand Is Giving Away One Million Cannabis Plants for Free

The government is encouraging an all-out home cultivation drive.

Thailand's so-called "Green Rush" is in full swing, as the government offered its citizens quite the cannabis giveaway. The health ministry announced that they will be providing households with one millions marijuana plants for free.

According to Thailand Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, residents are allowed to grow "as many cannabis plants" in their homes as they want starting June 9—as long as its for medical purposes. There will be no licensing required for home cultivation. That only applies to commercial cannabis and hemp companies in the country.

Charnvirakul claimed in a statement that this should enable the people and the government to generate more than 10 billion baht (roughly $288,846,200 or P15,157,907,000) in annual revenue. The government hopes to channel cannabis' local popularity into economic success, considering that around one-third of Thailand’s entire labor force works in agriculture.

In 2018, Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to legalize medical cannabis. Two years later, the country had made amendments to the country's narcotics act.

This opened the doors for the private production and sale of medical cannabis. Licensed companies in Thailand are legally allowed to sell hemp products at a 0.2-percent THC limit (a little stricter than the United States' 0.3-percent THC cap).

The good news is that home cultivation doesn't have much restrictions. Large-scale cannabis businesses, on the other hand, must request permission from the Thailand Food and Drug Administration to operate.

Earlier this year, Thailand also became the first country in Asia to legally allow marijuana. Cannabis has been used recreationally in the country for years now. And since 2018, the nation has been in the middle of its own hemp boom with products like CBD-infused edibles, drinks, and even cosmetics gaining widespread consumer attention.

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Bryle B. Suralta
Assistant Section Editor
Bryle B. Suralta is the Assistant Section Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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