Medical marijuana tours are underway at plantations across Thailand. While the tours may be open to tourists, officials say the tour is for educational purposes and will be first for those interested in starting a grow business. The Ministry of public health and the Ministry of tourism and sports plan to launch the tourism activity next year. This will be the first “Medical Marijuana Tour” in Southeast Asia.
Tourism and Sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the purpose of the trip is to teach people how to use marijuana for medical purposes. Thailand tourism bureau is cooperating with Thailand’s traditional alternative medicine department to potentially promote the travel route of medical tourism.
“In the early stages, the programme aims to educate locals who would like to form a community enterprise and bid to become authorised cannabis growers. This programme will pave the way for a basic understanding of marijuana and its economic benefits.”
Recreational marijuana is still illegal. Thailand legalized medical marijuana in 2018, becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to do so. Only state and government approved agencies are allowed to grow marijuana for medical purposes.
There are now cannabis plantations in 8 provinces: Mae Hong Song, Lampang, Samut Songkhram, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Phatthalung and Chon Buri.
“We should consider marijuana as a legacy from the past worth preserving. Thais have used this plant as medicine since the King Narai era…Its medicinal properties were later verified by modern research.”