BANGKOK, Thailand – Hemp and cannabis extracts have been removed from the list of narcotic substances in Thailand, opening the door for possible production and manufacturing opportunities in the potentially lucrative Asian market.
“The intention is to allow extracts to be used in medicine, cosmetics, and food, and support hemp as a cash crop,” said Tares Krassanairawiwong, secretary-general of the Thai Food and Drug Administration, as reported on Monday by news agency Reuters.
Only researchers and medical facilities are allowed to apply for licenses to produce cannabis extract currently, but the removal of cannabis extracts from Thailand’s Category 5 schedule has signaled to Asian-based businesses and entrepreneurs that commercial opportunities will emerge.
Prior to Monday’s change, possession of cannabis (like other Category 5 drugs) was punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and fines of up to 1.5 million baht, according to the Bangkok Post.
The newspaper also cited a market analysis report by firm Prohibition Partners, which projects that the “local” cannabis market will reach $660 million by 2024.