The forecast for the legal cannabis market in Asia is rosy—it’s expected to swell to $8.5 billion by 2024 from practically nothing today. With that in mind, Thailand is looking to lead the way for marijuana legalization in Asia and become the region’s cannabis capital.
Thailands new tourism and sports minister has announced plans to promote medical marijuana tourism throughout the country. Speaking on his first day in office, Mr Pipat Ratchakitprakan, said he wants to include marijuana in medical tourism, especially Thai traditional medicine and massage.
“We would like to provide medical tour packages, such as detox, Thai massage and other wellness courses that use marijuana substances,” said Mr Pipat.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the former military government leader who heads a civilian government following March elections, is due to set out the policies for debate in the national assembly on Thursday (Jul 25) . The policy document was released on Sunday.
Developing the medical cannabis industry was a key demand of the Bhumjaithai party, one of the biggest parties in Prayut’s 19-party coalition.
“The study and technological development of marijuana, hemp, and other medicinal herbs should be sped up for the medical industry to create economic opportunity and income for the people,” the policy document said.
Thailand, which had a tradition of using cannabis to relieve pain and fatigue, legalized marijuana for medical use and research last year.