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In recent years, there have been significant changes in the status of cannabis in Thailand.
The country has been taking progressive steps towards the legalization of cannabis and its use in medical research. In 2018, Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical cannabis, allowing patients to access cannabis-based medicines with a prescription.
Furthermore, Thailand has established government-managed facilities for the cultivation and production of medical cannabis products. It also encourages research and development to explore the potential effects of cannabis in various therapeutic fields.
Since the allowance of medical cannabis use in 2019, there has been an increase in hospitals and clinics registering to prescribe it. As the number of registered institutions grows, so does the number of patients receiving treatment with cannabis-based medications.
By 2020, nearly 120,000 patients had received treatment with cannabis-based medicines. Medical cannabis was primarily intended to provide relief for patients suffering from epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and cancer-related symptoms.
According to Kasetsart University in Bangkok, the market size of medical cannabis in Thailand was 1.5 billion baht in 2020, and it is expected to reach 5.7 to 8 billion baht by 2025.
These developments reflect Thailand's commitment to accepting the medical potential of cannabis and promoting innovative approaches to healthcare. Thailand's stance on cannabis aligns with the global trend of acknowledging the potential medical benefits of cannabis.
Thailand became the only country in Southeast Asia to legalize the cannabis industry in 2022, and the expansion of the industrial hemp market is also anticipated, in addition to medical cannabis. Currently, Thailand is advancing research on various hemp varieties and developing strains with highly valuable fibers or high concentrations of CBD.
Major food and cosmetics companies in Thailand are making investments, indicating further market expansion in the future.