Most South Asian countries have maintained a rather apprehensive approach towards legalization of cannabis and weed. It was surprising when Thailand became the first country in the region to legalize cannabis for medical & research purposes. The current government has been vocal about its support for the cause, saying that it will only boost the economy and bring income for the masses. Recently, Phra Nangklao Hospital in Bangkok became the first one to open a medical cannabis clinic specifically for sale. The hospital is supervised by Ministry of Public Health.
Medical cannabis in Thailand
Phra Nangklao Hospital will have six doctors, besides nurses, pharmacists and a dentist, who are trained in use of marijuana for medical purposes. While the hospital will continue to offer what is traditional medical treatment, it will now offer cannabis as a part of new treatments, online reports said. Medical marijuana will be offered at Phra Nangklao Hospital for nine different conditions, including muscle numbness, muscle weakness, stroke, coronary disease, and effects following chemo treatments. Cannabis for medical use will be also offered to those suffering from insomnia and sclerosis.
Dr. Praphon Tangsrikiattikul, who is also an advisor to the minister of public health, adding that the ministry is working to make medicinal cannabis more accessible to patients in need, under the guidance and expertise of medical practitioners trained in the subject specifically. The clinic at Phra Nangklao Hospital will be open on Mondays only for now between 1 pm and 4.30 pm. For the uninitiated, Phra Nangklao Hospital offers treatments for last-stage cancer and stroke patients.
The path of medical cannabis in Thailand
The Thai government has been taking steps to accelerate study of medical cannabis, and it is not surprising that the private companies have been trying to get both parents and licenses for further research on medical marijuana. Experts believe that the legalization of medical marijuana is a step towards boosting the economy and reap profits and tax revenue from the interest that people have in cannabis. Besides the private sector, the government has also set up a facility that can grow 12,000 medical marijuana plants for research and production of cannabis oil.
As one of the Thailand ministers recently commented, marijuana is the cash crop of the future for the country, and it remains to be seen as how the masses react to ‘green rush’. Medical cannabis use is legal in more than 30 states in the US.