Demand for weed goods 'very high'
The Commerce Ministry's Intellectual Property Department said on Sunday it had approved two patents on cannabis and hemp inventions after their extracts were delisted as Category 5 narcotics.
The department's director-general Vuttikrai Leewiraphan said staff had received a total of 31 requests for the cannabis and hemp exemption. Eleven of the 13 requests were for machines and methods to extract cannabis chemicals, six for food and beverages and four for herbal medicine products with the indgredients.
The two patent requests approved by the department were for fabric plant pots and a cannabis oil extraction machine, the director-general said.
The Narcotics Act (No.7) which became effective on Feb 9 allows the use of cannabis and kratom for medical purposes. The law also permits the use of various parts of cannabis and hemp, except flower heads, for other purposes.
Only government agencies acting alone or in collaboration with other organisations are allowed to utilise the plants for the first five years following the legislation.
Visit Limluecha, president of the Thai Food Processors Association, said many food and beverage producers were starting to file their patent requests with the department.
However, they still had to wait for the Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations that specify maximum legal quantitiies of cannabis and hemp in food and beverages.
The FDA needed to clearly set the levels of psychoactive compounds in cannabis and hemp since each patient responded to them differently, Mr Wiset said.
Some restaurants and bakery shops in the country have started to use cannabis leaves in their food and drinks which the president said could help increase their market value by around 10% if current consumer trends on cannabis by-products continue.