Marijuana, Thailand’s new cash crop

Entrance to the marijuana growing complex at Rak Jang Farm (All pictures: Arno Maierbrugger)

Since the liberalisation of marijuana for medical use in February 2019 and subsequently for use in food in Thailand, the plant has gained a momentum to become one of the country’s cash crops, a visit to a marijuana farm in Thailand’s province Nakhon Ratchasima by Investvine showed.

The Rak Jang Farm in Wang Nam Khiao District in southern Nakhon Ratchasima province is one of the first farms in Thailand to have been given government approval to grow and sell cannabis to medical institutions as a community enterprise.

Initially a melon growing enterprise, the farm added facilities to grow marijuana – more precisely: cannabis sativa – on its premises, using seeds of the “Charlotte’s Angels” variety imported from the Netherlands. The plants grown from this variety are low in Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, and high in Cannabidiol, or CBD, the compound in cannabis used for most therapeutic and medical applications.

Rak Jang Farm further signed a contract with Thailand’s state-owned Government Pharmaceutical Organisation to deliver the latter dried cannabis flowers which it will use for the production of medical cannabis products.

At the farm, the plant is also used to create a number of marijuana-inspired dishes and drinks, and a growing number of restaurants are buying leaves and extract for their own menu, among others the Ban Lao Rueng restaurant and the day spa restaurant of the Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, both in Prachinburi province.

For the food, formerly forbidden bark, stem, fibers, branches, roots and leaves are now legal to use, while flowers and buds remain off-limits.

Marijuana seedlings wait for getting planted

According to the revised law on marijuana use, the plant otherwise can only be used for medical and academic purposes and for health products, but only by people or organisations licensed by the health ministry, which includes the Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital.

Overall, more than 100 community enterprises in Thailand have been granted permission by the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical cannabis cultivation in forms of indoor, outdoor and greenhouse systems., according to Thailand’s vice minister for public health, Sophon Mekthon.

The nature of the plant, however, also requires some extraordinary measures, particularly in terms of safety and theft protection.

At Rak Jang Farm, for example, aspiring workers have to be screened whether they have any drug history. There are CCTV cameras across the entire complex, and staff has also to do a fingerprint to gain access. There are also weekly inspections by authorities and regular visits by the FDA.

By all means, the sales price of cannabis flowers is lower than the street price for what used to be classified as a drug. One kilogramme from Rak Jang Farm goes for 47,000 baht (around $1,500) when it gets delivered to healthcare companies.

Young plants grow in the greenhouse
There have to be constant temperature and humidity for optimal results
A prefect young flower. Used are only female plants
A typical marijuana greenhouse at Rak Jang Farm
Growing, growing, grown
Almost ready
Marijuana plants in full bloom. The smell is literally mind-blowing
Harvest can begin



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Entrance to the marijuana growing complex at Rak Jang Farm (All pictures: Arno Maierbrugger) Since the liberalisation of marijuana for medical use in February 2019 and subsequently for use in food in Thailand, the plant has gained a momentum to become one of the country's cash crops, a visit to a marijuana farm in Thailand's province Nakhon Ratchasima by Investvine showed. The Rak Jang Farm in Wang Nam Khiao District in southern Nakhon Ratchasima province is one of the first farms in Thailand to have been given government approval to grow and sell cannabis to medical institutions as a community...

Entrance to the marijuana growing complex at Rak Jang Farm (All pictures: Arno Maierbrugger)

Since the liberalisation of marijuana for medical use in February 2019 and subsequently for use in food in Thailand, the plant has gained a momentum to become one of the country’s cash crops, a visit to a marijuana farm in Thailand’s province Nakhon Ratchasima by Investvine showed.

The Rak Jang Farm in Wang Nam Khiao District in southern Nakhon Ratchasima province is one of the first farms in Thailand to have been given government approval to grow and sell cannabis to medical institutions as a community enterprise.

Initially a melon growing enterprise, the farm added facilities to grow marijuana – more precisely: cannabis sativa – on its premises, using seeds of the “Charlotte’s Angels” variety imported from the Netherlands. The plants grown from this variety are low in Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, and high in Cannabidiol, or CBD, the compound in cannabis used for most therapeutic and medical applications.

Rak Jang Farm further signed a contract with Thailand’s state-owned Government Pharmaceutical Organisation to deliver the latter dried cannabis flowers which it will use for the production of medical cannabis products.

At the farm, the plant is also used to create a number of marijuana-inspired dishes and drinks, and a growing number of restaurants are buying leaves and extract for their own menu, among others the Ban Lao Rueng restaurant and the day spa restaurant of the Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, both in Prachinburi province.

For the food, formerly forbidden bark, stem, fibers, branches, roots and leaves are now legal to use, while flowers and buds remain off-limits.

Marijuana seedlings wait for getting planted

According to the revised law on marijuana use, the plant otherwise can only be used for medical and academic purposes and for health products, but only by people or organisations licensed by the health ministry, which includes the Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital.

Overall, more than 100 community enterprises in Thailand have been granted permission by the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical cannabis cultivation in forms of indoor, outdoor and greenhouse systems., according to Thailand’s vice minister for public health, Sophon Mekthon.

The nature of the plant, however, also requires some extraordinary measures, particularly in terms of safety and theft protection.

At Rak Jang Farm, for example, aspiring workers have to be screened whether they have any drug history. There are CCTV cameras across the entire complex, and staff has also to do a fingerprint to gain access. There are also weekly inspections by authorities and regular visits by the FDA.

By all means, the sales price of cannabis flowers is lower than the street price for what used to be classified as a drug. One kilogramme from Rak Jang Farm goes for 47,000 baht (around $1,500) when it gets delivered to healthcare companies.

Young plants grow in the greenhouse
There have to be constant temperature and humidity for optimal results
A prefect young flower. Used are only female plants
A typical marijuana greenhouse at Rak Jang Farm
Growing, growing, grown
Almost ready
Marijuana plants in full bloom. The smell is literally mind-blowing
Harvest can begin



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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