Diners get to try 140 cannabis-mixed dishes at exploratory fair

Diners get to try 140 cannabis-mixed dishes at exploratory fair

Maejo University in Chiang Mai yesterday launched an event to let fair-goers have a taste of cannabis-mixed dishes cooked from more than 40 restaurants in Chiang Mai.

The event was supervised by the Maejo Natural Farming Research and Development Centre, to make use of cannabis parts and make the drug more accessible to people, Arnat Tancho, the centre's director, said yesterday.

Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital in Prachin Buri is the model for cooking cannabis-mixed dishes which is supported by the Food and Drug Administration. At the event, the university invited 47 well-known restaurants in Chiang Mai to present various cannabis-mixed dishes, in which each restaurant would cook three dishes, he said.

The fair-goers received coupons for eating up to five dishes. The number of fair-goers was capped at 500 people in compliance with public health measures for preventing the spread of Covid-19, he said.

The university provided 200 grammes of fresh cannabis leaves as ingredients. Roots and stems of cannabis plants were also provided to each restaurant, he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Health will eliminate cannabis and hemp from the ministerial regulation that bans the narcotic plants from cooking. Anunchai Assawamakin, adviser to the public health minister, said a committee on food will discuss the proposal tomorrow.

People will be able to put the narcotic plants' parts into food as ingredients. But it must be under condition that the plants are grown and harvested by farms authorised by the law.

Any food products with cannabis ingredients must also obtain a licence from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As it explores new uses for the product in a bid to help local businesses and spur the economy, the ministry is working on draft legislation which will enable the use of cannabis in food supplements and cosmetics.

Previously, the ministry has also strongly promoted cannabis use in medical treatments and healthcare businesses in general, although once again curbs to ensure safe use of the product apply.

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) yesterday signed an agreement to purchase dried cannabis flower from Play La Ploen Herbal Community Entreprise Centre in Buri Ram province, the first community enterprise to sell the product to the GPO. It is expected to harvest the first crop of 18 kilogrammes by fresh weight in June.

Another three community enterprises in Lampang, Nakhon Ratchasima and Mae Hong Son province are likely to sign a purchase contract. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 82 community enterprises nationwide for cannabis plantations.

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