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BANGKOK: Authorities in Thailand's capital Bangkok have rejected calls to turn tourists' popular Khao San Road into the nation's cannabis hub.

BANGKOK: Authorities in Thailand's capital Bangkok have rejected calls to turn tourists' popular Khao San Road into the nation's cannabis hub.  Deputy Bangkok governor Jakkapan Phiewngam said the famed tourist area was unlikely to be positioned as Thailand's cannabis hub as there were many schools and temples in its vicinity.

In rejecting calls from business owners to turn the area into a cannabis hub, he said only the Public Health Ministry can regulate the cannabis trade and not the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, he also warned that Thailand's image may be affected if Khao San Road was turned into a cannabis hub as there were no regulations yet to ensure any products sold were safe for consumption and of high quality.

Jakkapan said the BMA will use current laws to ensure the sale of cannabis-based products does not ruin the capital's reputation, especially in tourist areas.

At present, vendors and stall owners wishing to sell cannabis-based products in the country are required to register them with their local district offices. Products which have been registered with authorities cannot be changed in any form without the district office's permission.

He went on to remind the public that it was still illegal to publicly sell food and drinks infused with cannabis.

He added that the city's law enforcement agencies have been told to comb all districts in the capital for cannabis-based products, especially around school areas.

Bangkok's newly elected Governor Chadchart Sittipunt had also expressed his concerns about cannabis promotion in the city.

He said viral videos that have emerged, showed vendors openly selling cannabis-based products and warned that it may ultimately harm the city's reputation.

He has also urged the relevant authorities to intensify its public service announcements to discourage people from using cannabis for recreation purposes as it was still illegal to do so in Thailand, despite the decriminalistion of the cannabis plant on June 9.

However, Khao San Road Businesses Association president Sanga Ruengwattanakul disagreed on the matter, saying the government had an opportunity to use cannabis to promote tourism in the country, especially in Bangkok.

He suggested that to limit any adverse impact to the public, the government should instead push for identity verification at points-of-sale to prevent minors from buying cannabis products.

He added that vendors and shop owners should also be required to have a separate area for consumption as public smoking of weed was still illegal.

Sanga said Khao San Road could play an important role in promoting the responsible use of cannabis among foreign tourists and that other tourist hubs such as Pattaya and Phuket could also move in the same direction.

Meanwhile in another development, Thailand's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and narcotics suppression authorities said more than 40 tonnes of seized illegal drugs worth over 34.6 billion baht would be incinerated this week.

A report in the Post said the drugs in FDA storage will be destroyed at a facility in Samut Prakan's Bang Pu industrial estate.

The seized drugs consist of 23.3 tonnes of methamphetamine pills, 14.5 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine or ice, 738 kg of heroin, 29 kg of opium and 4 kg of ecstasy. The remaining drugs are other psychoactive substances.

To ensure transparency in the disposal, an inspection of the drugs will be carried out by a committee consisting of representatives from the FDA, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, the Thai police, Muang Nonthaburi police station, the Department of Medical Sciences, the Office of Police Forensic Science and the army.