• Thailand has legalized the use of cannabis across the country and is giving away one million plants.
  • But it cannot be used recreationally.
  • It is being legalized for its health and economic benefits. 

Thailand has legalized the use of cannabis and is giving away one million marijuana plants to inspire its use. 

However, government officials are making it clear that the law does not condone the drugs recreational use.

Writing on Facebook, Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul said one should not use the plant and "sit and smile all day without making a living and lacking consciousness."

 The minister also confirmed that the government plan to give away test kits to check the THC value of marijuana, with the plants only being legal if it has no more than 0.2% THC. 

The Thai government touts the legalization of cannabis as an opportunity for economic growth, saying "we are committed to cannabis as a cash crop," and it wants to make it a commodity to export worldwide.

The global cannabis extract market is estimated to be worth  $10.74 billion in 2022. 

six cannabis plants per home

Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, poses with people who received a free cannabis plant from the Thai government to celebrate the legalization of marijuana on June 10, 2022 in Buriram, Thailand. Foto: Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images

At the "Unlock Marijuana" event hosted to celebrate the enactment of the new law on June 9, people flocked to sell and buy products created from cannabis plants, including Thai traditional medicine accompanied by doctors explaining the health benefits of the plants.

More than 350,000 households had registered on an app to cultivate up to six cannabis plants in their homes, said the minister. The drug can also be farmed with a permit. Diners will be able to order cannabis-infused dishes and drinks at restaurants, per the BBC.

Charnvirakul also announced that 4,000 people imprisoned for cannabis offenses would be freed, said the BBC.

Marijuana is recognized to have a range of health benefits, including treatment for chronic pain, muscle spasms, calming seizures, decreasing anxiety, and more.

However, experts are skeptical that Thailand's strict no-recreational-use policies will be obeyed. Cannabis entrepreneur Kitty Chopaka told CNN that "smoking weed will happen, and there's no way the government can stop that."

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