The Ministry of Public Health will on Tuesday ask the cabinet to propose an amendment to the Narcotics Act in a bid to allow doctors and traditional healers to plant cannabis for medical and financial purposes.
The bill, if passed, would allow doctors, traditional healers and patients to grow cannabis for treatments. However, they would have to be certified to grow.
While farmers would be able to seek permission to grow cannabis, they would also work with the pharmaceutical industry to grow the plant for medicinal purposes, Paisarn Dunkum, secretary-general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said.
In addition, manufacturers of medicinal products would be allowed to produce and export their cannabis and compete in the domestic and international markets, Dr Paisarn added.
He noted that competing in the international market would help the country save money and use it instead to import other types of medicine. Cannabis products can be used alongside modern treatments, the secretary-general said.
"This will be another step for our country to become a leader that applies cannabis systematically in the medical field," Dr Paisarn said.
The draft law on the amendment has been approved by drug control committees and other government agencies, such as the Office of the Council of State (OCS), Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Royal Thai Police (RTP), Office of the Narcotics Control Board and Medical Council, he said.