Cannabis liberalization will further strengthen Thailand’s position as a global medical hub

July 6, 2022

In 2018, Canada took a major step to legalize cannabis at the federal level and now Thailand has joined the small but growing number of countries liberalizing the growing and use of cannabis and its derivatives.
“The recent liberalization of cannabis legislation places Thailand ahead of its peers in ASEAN and will offer companies, both foreign and domestic, first-mover advantages.” wrote Tractus Executive Director Dennis Meseroll.

Continue reading Tractus’ article authored by Dennis and Analyst Paulo Guedes Moreau in Voyageur, the official quarterly Business Magazine of CanCham Thailand:

Executive Summary of Voyageur Cannabis Industry Article

Thailand remains a hub for tourism for medical purposes. Before the pandemic it was ranked third in globally for number of foreign medical tourists in the country. Since 2002 the industry has experienced a yearly growth of about 9.25%. Private and public health in Thailand is known for patient-centered care, affordability, and high-quality service. This is believed to be the foundation of the medical tourism industry in Thailand.

New cannabis policies in Thailand have resulted in new opportunities on the medical front. This gives Thailand an advantage over other ASEAN countries like China. Entering the cannabis industry at this early stage ensures the government an advantage in the medical cannabis market. Thailand is a favorite for cannabis industry investment due its ability to produce a wide range of cannabis products, at lower production costs, in a strong agricultural sector.

Having a medical cannabis industry opens a new avenue for medical tourism once all pandemic restrictions are lifted. The “Asian Cannabis Report” (2019) predicts that Thailand’s medicinal cannabis industry will be worth US$237 million by 2024, and if the recreational market is included, the total value is forecasted to reach US$661 million by 2024.

The new cannabis policies might open up opportunities for foreign firms to dominate the Thailand market. This creates a concern that Thai patients might struggle to access medical cannabis. However, research institutions in Thailand want to take the lead in medical research regarding medical cannabis. The treatment options are intriguing and following the liberalization there is a gap in research about medical cannabis production and uses.

Canada and Thailand have the opportunity to work together with new cannabis cultivation and extraction technologies. Thailand has a globally recognized agricultural and medical research foundation that Canada can leverage, along with other medical use cannabis products. Thailand is in a great position to become a world-leader for medicinal cannabis products along with its existing infrastructure. Canada is in a good position to become involved in this development and to bring their own investments and expertise to the health sector.

 


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