Thailand to Legalize Medical Marijuana as New Year's 'Gift' to Citizens

Thailand Has Just Become The First Southeast Asian Country to Legalist Medical Marijuana- WORLD OF BUZZ 2

Thailand legalizes medicinal marijuana in New Year's 'gift'

The country will take steps to make sure that medical marijuana is strictly controlled to ensure that it will only be used for medicinal purposes.

As the markets closed for the Christmas holidays, few anticipated that the cannabis market would find a surprise present in Southeast Asia.

The Thai legislature approved a bill that legalizes medical marijuana in the country.

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"And will become effective once it is published on the Royal Gazette", lawmaker Somchai Sawangkarn said on Tuesday.

According to CNN, all 166 members of the National Legislative Assembly voted in favour of the amendment to the country's Narcotics Bill, which allows the use of medical marijuana in the country.

One country making the plunge into the legal cannabis industry is Thailand.

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Consumers will be able to carry specified amounts necessary for medicinal purposes, if they have a prescription or recognised certificate, the Bangkok Post said. Requests that Thai researchers are concerned would allow foreign firms to dominate the medical marijuana market, making it hard for Thai patients to access medicines.

The drug remains taboo in Southeast Asia, which has some of the world's harshest punishments for drug law violations.

But as cannabis policy reform has been taking place in an increasing number of countries around the world, Thailand has also chosen to pass legislation that is more closely aligned with the views of a majority of its citizens who have indicated their support for medicinal cannabis. The production or transport of marijuana carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to 1.5 million Baht ($46,000, €40,500).

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As such, news that Thailand might be taking a more liberal approach bodes well for the regions future cannabis industry. Foreign companies and pharmaceutical giants are on the line, to obtain valuable business licenses to develop the sector.

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