'Daycha Oil' set to receive official approval this week
The cannabis extract oil known as "Daycha Oil" is to get official approval early this week but its creator has ceded responsibility for producing it to the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine.
"I have found it difficult to make the drug on my own as the process is very complicated. I have decided to cooperate with the department for better production," Daycha Siripatra, an advocate of marijuana liberalisation and creator of "Daycha Oil" told media on Friday after meeting with the department's sub-committee on traditional medicine formulae.
The Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (TTAM) on Friday approved Mr Daycha's cannabis oil formula and will pass it on to the committee on controlling narcotics on Tuesday where it is likely to get a further green light.
The smooth passage of this much-reported cannabis oil formula came after Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul signed a ministerial regulation allowing 3,000 traditional medicine practitioners to produce and prescribe cannabis-based medicines in their own hometowns.
Mr Daycha, founder of the Khaokwan Foundation, a respected advocacy group on sustainable farming, has been accredited by the department since April.
He said the department will allocate 25% of the oil produced to him every month, so he can give it for free to around 40,000 patients registered with his foundation.
Mr Daycha created Daycha Oil a few years ago and become known for prescribing it to thousands of patients free of charge.
However, Mr Daycha said that these patients will now be transferred to the TTAM so that they can access the cannabis oil legally.
He voiced his concern that not all his patients will get the drug as it will be prescribed only for diseases or symptoms approved by the Ministry of Public Health.
In addition, all patients using Daycha Oil must enter the medical research project being carried out by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Chulalongkorn University, which is studying the efficacy and side effects of the treatment.
The department on Friday announced it will produce 100,000 bottles of the formula monthly, initially using 1,000 kilogrammes of cannabis confiscated by the Office of the Narcotic Control Board.
Each bottle will contain five millilitres and the first batch is expected next month.
Mr Anutin said the campaign for liberalising cannabis use for medical purposes has made a leap forward.
However, he was quick to warn that "Any use must be prescribed and supervised by authorised doctors only".