Siam Cannaverse Co, a joint venture firm between Pethlanna Organic Farm, a Lampang-based community enterprise, and Raggan 420 Co, a cannabis processing factory, looks set to expand its cannabis stores to cash in on Thailand's decriminalisation of the drug and recovering tourism.
According to Netnapa Singstit, an executive director at Raggan 420 Co, the joint venture firm plans to open 20 new cannabis stores in 10 tourist destinations: Bangla Road, Phuket; Chaweng beach on Samui; Krabi; Phangnga; Samui; Rayong; Chon Buri; Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan; Chiang Mai; and Pattaya.
Some stores would be operated by Siam Cannaverse, with some to be under a franchise system. Interested investors are required to invest one million baht for the franchise fee and 800,000 baht worth of business guarantee for a two-year agreement.
Siam Cannaverse on Aug 1 opened its first RG420 cannabis store on Khao San Road, an area of Bangkok popular with backpackers. Products available at the store include Thai stick cannabis, seasoning food, pickled cannabis root, stew powder, and ready-to-cook soup using cannabis as an ingredient.
The store's target customers are foreign tourists. It draws between 100-200 customers per weekday and 300-400 customers on weekends. The average spending is between 500-1,000 baht per visit.
"Within just two weeks of our store's opening, we've received a warm response from customers across the world from Latin America, Europe and Asia. We hope that opening our RG420 cannabis store will help revitalise the bustling tourism business in Khao San road,'' said Natworaphakkhathorn Phongthathanatthanakorn, executive director of the RG420 store.
He added that he believes cannabis can draw many tourists to Thailand if the government creates zoning for tourists to use it legitimately, as in Amsterdam's "red light" district.
Mr Natworaphakkhathorn said the company hopes that opening the RG420 store will stimulate spending and increase money circulation from direct and indirect business to the areas adjacent to Khao San Road.
Moreover, its store is a distribution channel for Thai farmers and promotes Thai stick cannabis to the world market.
In 2018, Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to legalise marijuana for medical use. In June this year, the entire cannabis plant was decriminalised, leading to stores springing up across the country.