28 December 2018: Vice, New Legalization Law Could Make Thai Weed Great Again. Excerpt (below):
“Thai cannabis will soon be the global industry’s profit leader, like Swiss watches or Apple smartphones,” Jim Plamondon, vice president of marketing at Thai Cannabis Corporation (TCC) told VICE.
26 December 2018: The Nation, Cannabis growers will be given guidelines. Excerpt (below):
FARMERS planning to grow cannabis once it is legalised for medical and research purposes next month have been told to contact authorities.
“Interested persons should start studying relevant information on how to select cannabis varieties, prepare hothouses and control the temperature,” Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong said yesterday. He said the Office of Narcotics Control Board, the Public Health Ministry and the Education Ministry would provide farmers with information. “Contact these authorities for training,” he recommended
25 December 2018: The Nation, Use of medical marijuana passes NLA. Excerpt: “A NEW LAW that legitimises the use of marijuana for medical purposes sailed through the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) yesterday with overwhelming support.”
19 December 2018: Jakarta Post, Medical marijuana is coming to Thailand. Excerpt (below):
“There will be a rush to produce as much cannabis as possible and there’s going to be a global shortage very soon,” said Tyler Anthony, senior vice president of client services at Electrum Partners, a U.S. venture management company that has met with companies interested in Thailand. “You need to hit a much broader scale of production and reduce costs — Thailand will allow that to happen.”
18 December 2018: The Nation, Hemp proposed [by UN] as alternative to medical marijuana. Excerpt: “THE UNITED Nations will in the next few weeks consider whether to downgrade the classification of cannabidiol – currently a narcotic under international law, Kasetsart University agronomy lecturer Vichien Keeratinijakal said yesterday.”
17 December 2018: Thai Examiner, Players in Thailand getting ready to challenge for a slice of the medical cannabis trade as new legal era nears. Excerpt: “It is certain that once the new law takes effect, a whole new industry and interaction will occur in Thailand centered around the use of these drugs including cannabis. It is unclear yet how this will develop. The medical benefits of the drug can be attested to, most impressively, by the networks already using it informally at the risk of severe criminal penalties. The decisions made by Thailand’s Ministry of Health and government bodies will be crucial. ”
16 December 2018: Grizzle, Thai activists rail against foreign cannabis firms. Excerpt: “Thailand has always been a world leader in cannabis cultivation and its government is wary of countries like Canada, Colombia, and Germany profiting from a legal industry while it lags behind.”
21 December 2018: ASEAN Today, Thailand’s move to become Asia’s “medical marijuana hub”. Excerpt: ““Marijuana is Thailand’s future cash crop,” claimed Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong. Thailand’s climate is ideal for marijuana growth. It therefore costs less to produce marijuana in Thailand than it does in other countries.””
13 December 2018: Chiang Rai Times, Opposition to Foreigners Threatens to Stall Medical Marijuana Legislation in Thailand. Excerpt: “Opposition to [patent applications from] foreign firms has threatened to stall the legalization process, with researchers and civic networks threatening to sue the government if the patents are granted.”
12 December 2018: Bangkok Post (Reuters), Weeding out foreigners: strains over Thai legalisation of marijuana. Excerpt (below):
For Thai Cannabis Corporation (TCC), a majority Thai-owned entity that is waiting for legalisation to obtain a license to sell cannabis-derived ingredients to manufacturers, the move would be “a return to centuries-old tradition […] it’s already a part of traditional medicine … and we should ensure that Thais can control their own industry,” said Jim Plamondon, marketing head of TCC.
7 December 2018: Southeast Asia Globe, Making green: How weed could push Thailand’s economy to new highs. Excerpt: “Jim Plamondon has a vision for a legal cannabis industry in Thailand. He thinks the plant will be legalised there for both medical and recreational use in a few years. He sees small farmers’ salaries being quadrupled. Small farmers could band together to form collective fields in which uniform varieties of cannabis are produced using large-scale agricultural equipment.”
6 December 2018: ASEAN Economist, Race to legalise medical marijuana. Excerpt: “The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved the bill last month with 145 votes in favour and one abstention [none against]. NLA member Somchai Swangkarn said a vetting committee on the bill was established and draft legislation could be expected within a month. Marijuana may become available for licensed use before the end of December, according to the Washington Post.”
21 November 2018: OZY, From executions to embrace, Southeast Asia turns the page on pot. Excerpt (below):
For many in the region, these shifting winds represent a return to a traditional comfort with cannabis over centuries while opening up avenues for making serious money from it. Until the 1980s, Thailand was the largest exporter of cannabis to the U.S. and Canada. Decades as a partner in the global war on drugs saw Thailand’s millennium-long relationship with the plant burned to ash. Today, Thailand, with the world’s 20th-largest population, has the eighth-largest number of prison inmates, 70 percent of them for drug offenses.
For Jim Plamondon, vice president of marketing for the TCC, Canada’s legalization of cannabis is a vindication of Thai traditions and a precedent to be followed. “However, it is also dripping with irony and injustice,” he says. According to Plamondon, tens of thousands of Thai cannabis farmers were impoverished by the policies of the same governments that are now held up as bastions of progress and reform for legalization. “Today, Canada is cashing in on its appropriation of Thailand’s multibillion-dollar cannabis industry,” he adds.
12 November 2018: South China Morning Post, Green gold rush: Thailand and Malaysia race to legalise medical marijuana. Excerpt: “In Thailand, where trafficking marijuana is illegal, parliament has set in motion plans to legalise the drug for medical use. On November 9, the national legislative assembly filed a proposal to re-classify marijuana as a legal drug and allow its regulated sale and possession. Marijuana may become available for licensed usage before the end of the year, according to The Washington Post. This would position the Southeast Asian country as the epicentre of the burgeoning industry and advocates claim Thailand’s legal marijuana market could make US$5 billion by 2024.”
4 November 2018: Nikkei Asian Review, Asia plants seeds for medical cannabis market. Excerpt (below):
Certain growers in Thailand, one of the world’s largest cannabis exporters in the 1980s, are reviving its famous landrace strains, according to Jim Plamondon, vice president of Thai Cannabis Corporation, which describes itself as the first legal cannabis company in the country.
“Some of them are high in THC [tetrahydrocannabinols], some high in CBD, and some have a balance of both,” Plamondon said. “The more potent the strain, the higher the yield of cannabinoid per hectare, all else being equal.”
He also indicated that Thailand is looking to get business from multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, which have already explored the inclusion of cannabinoids such as CBD in their products.
2 November 2018: Business Times, Thailand Plans To Be The First Asian Country To Legalize Medical Marijuana. Excerpt (below):
Jet [Sirathraanon, chairman of Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly’s public health committee,] noted that Thailand had been delayed far too long in embracing the changes, while countries like Australia and Canada seized the moment – including legalizing exports. He noted the revenue-generating possibilities that revising the laws would provide for Thailand, and also the beneficial effects it could give on patients who are in pain. He also praised the quality of the plant in the country, which specifically [thrives] very well in the Golden Triangle borderlands of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos.
Sirathraanon said their pursuit in legalizing medicinal marijuana in Thailand is to give an opportunity to the people as the country has the best marijuana in the world, and experts agree and see the same potential.
1 November 2018: Time, Thailand Mulls Becoming the First Country in Asia to Legalize Medical Marijuana. (From AFP, below.)
31 October 2018: AFP, Thailand blazes ahead with push to legalise medical marijuana use. Excerpt: “Today, Thailand can produce awesome cannabis at a fraction of the cost of Western growers,” said Jim Plamondon, VP of Marketing at the Thai Cannabis Corporation, described as the country’s first legal marijuana firm. “Tomorrow, Thailand will reclaim its cultural legacy, by becoming the world’s leading grower, processor, and manufacturer of cannabis products,” he said. “Any company that is serious about cannabis should start moving its supply chain to Thailand.”
17 July 2018: Bloomberg, Thailand Wants to Have Its (Hash) Cake and Eat It Too. Excerpt: “Thailand, known for its tough policies against drug trafficking, is taking a page from Canada and other countries and is seeking to lead the way in Asia in legalizing medical marijuana.”
11 June 2018: Bangkok Post, High Time for Change. Excerpt: “TCC [Thai Cannabis Corporation] will most likely be one of the first in line to get a license since it has been involved in research on cannabis sativa alongside the Royal Project Foundation from the start. “
16 May 2018: Chiang Rai Times, Draft Legislation on Medicinal Marijuana in Thailand Heads to Cabinet for Approval. Excerpt: Thailand’s slow shift towards marijuana legalization stands in stark contrast to America’s anarchic “Green Rush,” the greatest exhibition of human greed since gold was discovered in California in 1849.
15 May 2018: MJBizDaily, Thailand set to unveil medical cannabis law. Excerpt: “Any company that is participating in the global cannabis industry should consider being among the first to move the least-profitable links in its global supply chain to Thailand,” [Jim Plamondon, TCC VP/Marketing] said. “The money it saves by doing so can be invested in moving up the value chain towards establishing consumer brands, because that’s where the big money will be… because that’s where the big money always is.”
3rd May 2018: Cannabis terapeutica: la Thailandia punta ad un punto di PIL, in Fuoriluogo (Italian).
2 May 2018: Avinash Tharoor published Thailand Authorises Country’s First Medical Cannabis Programme in Talking Drugs.
30 April 2018: Peter Maguire, author of 2013’s Thai Stick, published an excellent piece in SE Asia’s prestigious The Diplomat entitled Thailand’s Legendary Marijuana. Excerpt: “Who can forget the first strange-looking Thai Sticks a decade ago! Dense, seedless, stronger than a bull elephant. Years before sophisticated sinsemilla techniques were incorporated into the crop management of U.S. growers,” wrote High Times magazine, the journal of record for pot connoisseurs, “the Thais were, without effort, turning out a superior product.”