Thailand will give away a million free cannabis plants in June when home cultivation and use of the plant become legal.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced that beginning June 9, Thais no longer will be required to obtain a permit to cultivate cannabis at home. The cannabis cultivated must be of medical grade and used exclusively for medicinal purposes.
Anutin announced the decision in a Facebook post on May 8, in which he outlined the benefits of commercial cultivation.
The sale of cannabis products containing less than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the “high” feeling, is currently legal in Thailand.
According to Anutin, marijuana and hemp products could generate up to 10 billion baht in annual revenue if both public and private enterprises are permitted to operate freely under the new regulations.
The minister of public health added that the new rules allow small operators to launch marijuana-related businesses without registering with the Food and Drug Administration, while large-scale operations will continue to require authorization.
Local cannabis advocates have expressed optimism that loosening marijuana laws will stimulate economic recovery after years of stagnation. Thailand became the first Southeast Asian nation to legalize medical marijuana in 2018.