• Police in Thailand handed over 100kg of seized cannabis to medical researchers on Tuesday, 25 September
  • The quality of the seized cannabis is higher and of greater variety to aid researchers in finding which strains suit certain medical conditions
  • The chairman of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization said this was not a step towards legalising cannabis for recreational use

Police in Thailand handed over 100 kilograms of seized cannabis to medical researchers on Tuesday, following a call from Thai officials to begin producing cannabinoid-based medications.

Researchers were able to choose from the highest quality and variety from seized batches of cannabis.

Sophon Mekthon, the chairman of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, explained that this was in order to aid researchers observe which characteristics are most suitable for medicinal purposes.

Researchers were able to select from seized batches both from imported cannabis as well as from locally grown strains.

cannabis in thailand bad, police marijuana

Thai officers show some marijuana before a news conference Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (Sakchai Lalit AP Photo)

Discussing the decision, Mekhton said in a statement:

“The Government Pharmaceutical Organization intends to use marijuana, which is a plant that grows well in Thailand, for medical research and to develop it into medical marijuana extract and other pharmaceutical products of standardized quality.”

Mekhton added that the organization intends to make cannabis-based medicine available to a wide range of people, replacing traditionally expensive pharmaceutical medications.

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization intends to use marijuana, which is a plant that grows well in Thailand, for medical research and to develop it into medical marijuana extract and other pharmaceutical products of standardized quality.
– Sophon Mekthon, chairman of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization

Mekhton was quick to note that this decision did not signal an intention by Thai officials to bring about wider scale legalisation of cannabis:

“We will use it for medical purposes and we will safely control it.

“It is not for recreational use.”

Armed Thailand Police with Cannabis Marijuana

Thai policemen stand guard next to 100 kilograms of seized marijuana before a news conference Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 (Sakchai Lalit AP Photo).

While cannabis remains illegal in Thailand, including clinical research with human test subjects, officials anticipate that a change in the law could be forthcoming.

There has been discussion at Governmental level over whether to remove cannabis from the list of banned drugs, which would allow research and production of medical cannabis products in Thailand.

The current military Government, the Junta, however, may pose a threat to the legalisation process of legalising cannabis for medical purposes. To overcome this, officials have debated using a special legislative clause which could overrule the Junta.

Medical researcher with cannabis flower

police officer shows buds of marijuana before a news conference Bangkok, Thailand (Sakchai Lalit AP Photo).

According to Withoon Danwiboon, the managing director of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, Thai researchers will utilise previous studies on the medical applications of cannabis to decide which strains to grow, research and develop in order to effectively produce the right strains with the right combination of cannabinoids for specific conditions.

Danwiboon also discussed plans to make various forms of cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical medications, such as sublingual drops, creams, capsules and suppositories, much like those available in Holland, Germany and various states in the US.