Nearly 22 tonnes of seized cannabis held by the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has been handed over to 11 medical institutes and research facilities registered to use cannabis for research purposes, the ONCB secretary-general said on Saturday.
Niyom Termsrisuk said two of the 11 medical institutes and research facilities which received the drugs from the ONCB include the Drug and Herbal Product Research and Development Center, College of Pharmacy, at Rangsit University; and the Bureau of Drugs and Narcotics at the Department of Medical Science.
Mr Niyom said about 500kg of cannabis was distributed for research and medical purposes to the former and 100kg to the latter.
He said the ONCB is a central agency and that it is allowed to distribute seized marijuana to medical and research facilities registered to use cannabis for research purposes.
He said before the distribution occurs, the drugs are examined to see whether they were contaminated with pesticides, cadmium or fungi.
Mr Niyom said the government has a policy to support the research and development of cannabis oil for medical purposes. Distributing seized marijuana is part of that policy.
If any involved agencies are interested in using the seized marijuana, they should make a formal proposal to the Food and Drugs Administration or his office.
Last year, the government enacted legal amendments to allow the use of cannabis ingredients in medicines.