Cannabis farmers ask for help as prices drop
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Cannabis farmers ask for help as prices drop

NAKHON PHANOM: Farmers in the province are asking the government to help regulate the prices of cannabis after the industry began seeing a drop in value due to an oversupply of the crop.

Jirawat Rungsri, 56, president of the Medicinal Herbs Community Enterprise of Na Kham in Sri Songkhram district, said yesterday the prices dropped dramatically after the government began allowing the public to grow the plant.

Before cannabis was delisted as a narcotics earlier this year, only farmers with permission from hospitals, medical centres and universities were able to grow cannabis.

Mr Jirawat said he started the group to grow cannabis for medical purposes in 2020 in collaboration with Tambon Na Kham Health Promotion Hospital.

He said the group had 30 members growing about 30,000 cannabis plants when it first started.

During the group's first harvest, members were able to earn 50,000–100,000 baht a month selling parts of the cannabis plant, including buds, leaves and roots, he said.

However, prices of cannabis have dropped sharply since.

"As anyone can grow cannabis today, they do not have to get permission to grow the plant, so we have more competitors who drive cannabis prices down," he said.

He said the price of fresh cannabis leaves has declined from the previous 15,000 baht per kilogramme to 3,000 baht. Fresh stems were priced at 10,000 baht/kg in the past but today they are worth only 1,000, he said.

He said cannabis farmers in Nakhon Phanom have asked the government to help by announcing set prices farmers and customers can follow.

He said about 20 community enterprises in Nakhon Phanom plan to set up a cannabis cooperative to have more bargaining power when negotiating prices with middlemen.

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