Thailand opens first full-time cannabis clinic
The pilot clinic based in the Ministry of Public Health expects to see between 200 to 300 patients daily
Thailand has opened its first full-time clinic specialising in traditional and alternative cannabis-based medicine, as part of the government’s aim towards developing a medicinal cannabis industry.
“This is a pilot clinic, because we cannot produce enough doctors with expertise in cannabis,” public health minister, Anutin Charnvirankul, said at the opening ceremony in Bangkok.
Patients will receive treatment free of charge for the first two weeks, he added.
The pilot clinic, based in the Ministry of Public Health, expects to see between 200 to 300 patients daily.
Thailand legalised marijuana for medical use and research in 2017, to boost agricultural income, and already has around 25 cannabis clinics attached to general hospitals around the country.
However, unlike the newly-launched pilot clinic, they operate for just a few days a week, due to a lack of specialised staff.
Cannabis production, cultivation and sale has been limited to licensed Thai producers for the next four years to protect the domestic industry.
At the moment, only hospitals and research facilities are allowed to apply for cannabis production and extraction licenses, but the government is reviewing regulations to enable Thai businesses to apply for permits.