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Today, we are discussing cannabis again; specifically developments with respect to the new medical cannabis, medical marijuana regime that is being brought into effect here in the Kingdom.

There has been a lot of discussion on medical marijuana, medical cannabis and hemp. This specific video is discussing hemp specifically and when we say hemp we are talking about the industrial cannabis by-products that come from hemp; not marijuana in the sense of the kind that is smoked, the kind that contains THC, the medicinal kind of hemp, cannabis and marijuana. This is specifically industrial hemp we are discussing.

There was a recent article from Khaosod English, that is khaosodenglish.com, titled:  Weed Laws: Cannabis License and Foreigners Growing Hemp.  It is written by Wirot Poonsuwan, Attorney at Law, so a Thai Attorney on this. I am going to quote very briefly from this and provide a little bit of analysis of my own.  Quoting directly: "Hemp - Lastly, it would be remiss to mention these remarkable changes without discussing hemp, a plant that could help revitalize the Thai economy.  A little known fact is that foreigners can grow hemp by 2021.  According to the law, companies where foreigners control no larger than 33% of shares will be allowed to grow hemp for commercial medicinal purposes in 2021 after the 3 year government trial projects in Northern provinces end in 2020.” 

So the thing to take away from this video is "yes, foreigners may be able to get into the industrial hemp business". It is my understanding hemp is quite a cash crop especially with respect to things like paper, rope, various kinds of fiber; various clothing is made from hemp. It is quite a resilient material and it can be, like I said, quite a cash crop. It would appear that starting in 2021, at least according to this attorney who is writing this article, and again I urge those who are watching this video go check out that article.  There is a far more than what I quoted in there. I am specifically talking about this from one specific vantage point. 

But this is interesting to me because in the United States it is my understanding that most of the initiatives to get cannabis and marijuana legalized for medicinal purposes and recreational purposes there hasn't quite been the same drive with respect to industrial hemp.  I suspect there are various reasons for that most notably there is a much more sophisticated and grownup industrial sector that may be lobbying against hemp whereas here in Thailand, I think that there is much more support for bringing hemp online as a possible cash crop especially in certain provinces of Thailand.  I would even maybe argue that industrial hemp or hemp production may actually turn out to be much more of a driving force economically with respect to the development of marijuana and cannabis policy here in the Kingdom moving forward when compared to the more medicinal or recreational aspects of this particular product. My reasoning for that is because they could in theory grow a lot of it and it is very useful as an industrial product. 

Again all of this remains to be seen. It remains relatively pure speculation but I suspect that so long as the hemp is grown in accordance with the Narcotics Control Board and is not being used as a way by subterfuge to get involved with the different kinds of marijuana products, it is simply for industry, I could see this being a major shift with respect to the Thai economy and how it deals not only with agribusiness but also it could it could have a tremendous impact on the industrial sector here as hemp can be used for all kinds of things which currently I believe Thailand hasn't even gotten into any of these businesses or at least some of them.  

So it remains to be seen exactly how this is going to work out but we will make further videos as things progress.

There have been recent changes with respect to the rules pertaining to marijuana/cannabis in the Kingdom of Thailand and they came into effect with a Royal Decree which came out within about six weeks of making this video and that radically changed the landscape with respect to the way marijuana and marijuana products are treated here in the Kingdom.

That being stated, as part of that Act, there was a subsection with respect to a general amnesty for those who had previously been using cannabis products for medical purposes, and quoting directly from the Bangkok Post, that is bangkokpost.com, the headline FDA Sets Weed Report Deadline. Quoting directly, "Individuals and organizations who possess marijuana for medical purposes must notify the Food and Drug Administration before May 19th or face arrest. Those who use marijuana for medical purposes will not be punished for drug possession if they notify authorities to avoid prosecution. The FDA Secretary-general Tares Krassanairawiwong said on Monday.

That being stated, this is very important. As noted May 19th is the drop dead date with respect to that and failure to notify can result in subsequent criminal prosecution. I think it is probably a good idea for any foreigners watching this video to contact a Thai Attorney before disclosing anything to the Government as I don't know what the ramifications specifically would be for foreigners in the Kingdom in possession of marijuana. Yes, they might be covered under this amnesty but it could have Thai Immigration implications etc. and for that reason those who are watching this who are not of Thai nationality, it is probably going to need to seek some legal advice before undertaking anything that pertains to this amnesty.

That being stated, it does appear that Thailand is making strides forward with respect to the medical marijuana issue and we will keep you posted on this channel as things progress and as the enforcement apparatus evolves with respect to the marijuana and cannabis industry.

A recent article from Khaosod English, that is khaosodenglish.com and that article was written by Wirot Poonsuwan who is a Thai Attorney at Law and I want to note that specifically again. This is a very long article. We are going to quote very, very little from it but I wanted to make this as a follow-up because we did some videos previously on cannabis in Thailand where we were making some speculations if you will with respect to how this was going to actually play out; how it was going to operate as a practical matter. Now that more of the regulatory structure has been firmed up, we have got a better idea of how things are going to be. 

In a prior video on this channel, I was talking about this subject in the context of private companies being able to get into this business. It appears to me at least for the near term that is probably not likely and that in fact we are going to see this is going to be more in the context of medical marijuana, medical cannabis, and so really this whole notion of having these stores and things, like you would for instance see in a jurisdiction like Colorado in the United States, that paradigm doesn't so much apply to the Thai system as it is coming into view and again we are still dealing with the early stages of this. I urge those who are watching this video to read this article. There is a lot more than what we are discussing in this video. Again, Khaosod English: Weed Laws, Cannabis License and Foreigners Growing Hemp. Quoting directly:  "Acquiring a license: it is a widely-held myth to fathom that the passing of the DMS, that's the Department of Medical Services, training course will instantly certify a doctor to dole out medical marijuana. In fact, the compulsory course is merely one pre-qualification to enable the doctor to apply for a cannabis sale license from the FDA. Only upon receipt of the FDA license will the doctor qualify to dispense marijuana formulas. Once the doctor has obtained a sales license, there is no need for them to obtain the other four types of FDA cannabis licenses: manufacturing, import, export and possession."  And it notes in here: manufacturings for factories, imports for companies or government agencies, exports for companies and government agencies; possession is for researchers.  Quoting further: "Patients do not need a possession license as they will be given cannabis medication by doctors and pharmacists who received cannabis sales licenses from the FDA."  Now, I am curious as to how that is going to work as a practical matter; just to make a comment here because I would presume then that cannabis and cannabis products that are prescribed in a medical capacity would have the prescription attached to them. For example when you have prescription drugs for an ailment of any kind, there is usually a label, the prescribing doctor and directions for use. I guess I would presume that the cannabis, or the Cannabis products, would have that same kind of labeling that would show that it was issued in a valid manner. It is difficult to speculate on that as we haven't seen it yet. It is my understanding, in for example California medical marijuana regime, patients have to actually have a card that shows that they have gone through the prescription process, the diagnosis process from a doctor and are receiving treatment for medical marijuana and that card shows all that. Apparently, that is not going to be part and parcel of this system; it's simply going to be I would presume labeled on the Cannabis that is given out by the doctor or pharmacist in question. Quoting further: "Practitioners trained in DMS cannabis cannot apply for a FDA marijuana sales license yet. The holdup is a lack of implementing FDA ordinance to announce a lawful list of cannabis medicines which should be issued in a month or two."

So again, a very interesting article. Again Weed Laws, Cannabis License and Foreigners Growing Hemp. I urge those to read that article in full because it has got a lot more nuances than what I have just quoted. My analysis of this for those who are watching, I think we are going to see this rolled out fairly soon. For those who think this is going to be some great license to smoke a lot of marijuana, I am not certain that is what is going to happen here. Clearly the FDA is serious about rolling out regulations on this. Another major issue with respect to this is there is not going to be a huge number of doctors who are actually going to have this licensing. As this attorney noted in this article, there have only been a few classes for the qualification thus far. Not everyone who took the classes passed the exam and the classes filled up quite quickly and there is not in the future going to be a great number of these. So the doctors who are going to have the authority to dispense medicinal cannabis, medicinal marijuana, remain to be seen. None of them have licenses yet but I think that once the licenses are in fact issued, we are going to see a relatively small number of those folks who can actually dispense marijuana and cannabis medications.