Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul vowed to promote Thailand as a leading marijuana market for medical purposes and discourage foreign tourists who aimed to visit the country for recreational purposes.
The Minister gave an interview with foreign press on Wednesday, August 17th, that the Ministry expected the marijuana market in Thailand to generate about 1.5 billion USD in early revenue and would grow 2-3 times higher after the first year of the decriminalization.
He also reiterated that Thailand would focus on cannabis and hemp for medical use only and did not currently promote recreational use. Foreign tourists who planned to visit the country just to smoke the plant were, therefore, discouraged.
“So to say that marijuana in Thailand is free and can be smoked anywhere is fake news. It is not true. And we don’t welcome tourists like that. We would rather want tourists to come to Thailand and appreciate our culture and traditions and see the beauty in our country,” Anutin said.
However, recreational purposes may be introduced in the future when people fully understand the use of marijuana, the minister added.
Additionally, the country’s cannabis policy has also drawn interest from Malaysia, which is currently studying the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The Minister is also scheduled to discuss the issue with the Malaysian Public Health Minister at the ASEAN Health Ministers meeting next week.