Online help for cannabis businesses
The Ministry of Public Health will next month launch a website to encourage the development of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
"We need to make it more convenient and easier for entrepreneurs who wish to develop cannabis and hemp," said Anunchai Assawamakin, chairman of the national steering committee on the legalisation of cannabis and a pharmacology lecturer at Mahidol University's Faculty of Pharmacy.
"We need a real-time platform to help reduce the time it takes to apply for official permits or seek new information."
The steering committee was formed by the health minister after the Narcotics Control Board agreed to remove cannabis and hemp leaves and their parts from the list of illegal drugs in 2019. However, the marijuana is only permitted for medical purposes and academic research.
Board members resolved to remove the stems, stalks and roots from the plants and hemp, together with two active ingredients: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
No longer illegal are the hemp's non-viable seeds, the plant's oil extract and any substance extracted from the hemp, as are cannabis leaves and hemp, but not the flowers and buds, which are still listed as narcotic drugs.
The steering committee discussed how best to develop the website in order to drive commercial development of cannabis and hemp. One proposal is to prioritise the supervision and tracking of cannabis and hemp to make sure they are not misused.
The committee also discussed the idea of creating a "seed bank" for cannabis and hemp, another variety of cannabis which has been legalised.
Meanwhile, cosmetic companies and developers have been told they can start using hemp oil as of yesterday.
The FDA has amended the law to permit the use of hemp oil extract for commercial use as well as an ingredient in cosmetic products.