Weed shops to provide smoke spots

Weed shops to provide smoke spots

Govt hope to keep streets free of drug

People buy cannabis from a mobile stall on Khao San Road. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
People buy cannabis from a mobile stall on Khao San Road. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Cannabis sellers on Khao San Road will be told they must operate their own smoking places to help keep the local environment free of the pungent smell of marijuana. The newly built Plantopia zone is one such venue that will allow cannabis sales and smoking for visitors.

The Department of Thai Traditional and Complementary Medicine had insisted that licensed cannabis sellers were allowed to distribute cannabis buds, but it was against the law to allow cannabis-smoking or -eating areas in their shops.

Khao San Business Association president Sanga Ruangwattanakul said on Monday that local entrepreneurs had already prepared a separate zone for weed selling and smoking named Plantopia.

"We are complying with the Public Health Ministry announcement on cannabis which bans smoking in our shops. Therefore, we have prepared a cigar bar in Plantopia which is an excluded site away from public areas. We provide cleaning services and an air-ventilating system at the bar," said Mr Sanga.

He added that he wished to see more support for the recreational use of cannabis, but concurred there should be designated zones.

When asked to elaborate on the concept of Plantopia, Mr Sa-nga said that it is a hub for cannabis-based products such as cannabis bud extracted oils, cannabis massage oils, seasonings, and other products.

He emphasised that licensed cannabis sellers should record the acquisition of their products and document their buyers' purchase history.

Mr Sanga also said that there are about 15 cannabis sellers in Khao San Road who lawfully hold a licence to sell, but there are many more hawkers who sell in public without a licence.

Many are concerned that cannabis might lead to negative reactions among addicts, Mr Sanga was firmly of the opinion that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) gives pleasure and relief, rather than anxiety and paranoia.

As a result of the controversial cannabis law, Pheu Thai Party deputy spokesperson Treechada Srithada revealed that there has been an increasing number of "cannabis cafes" in many provinces.

"We would like Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to reconsider the law on all fronts or else the state of Thai society is likely to deteriorate even more deeply," she said.

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