PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: According to a local media report, police on November 13 seized more than 4,700 grams of fresh, dried and processed cannabis during a raid on an illegal medical marijuana grow operation at a mushroom farm in Ao Noi sub district on the outskirts of the Tri Cove City.
Tipped off by a “good samaritan”, (ผลเมืองดี pone-la-muang-dee, literally good citizen) authorities detained and charged a 27-year-old man who also tested positive with ya ba (methamphetamine) and cannabis in his system.
The suspect, named in the report as Mr. Puchong reportedly confessed to his involvement in the grow operation along with a 40-year-old partner named as Mr. To.
Police seized live potted cannabis plants weighing 1.5kg, in addition to 3.2 kg of cannabis plants that had recently been cut and discarded. They also seized as evidence irrigation parts, small amounts of dry cannabis leaves and flowers which had been stored in sealable plastic bags and jars, as well as paraphernalia – a bamboo water bong, wooden cutting board and butcher knife. (Presumed to be used for the preparation of finely-chopped ‘yum‘ comprising flowers and leaves of the plant, which are commonly chopped and blended with tobacco to be smoked)
The seized cannabis was allegedly intended to be sold as medicine at the rate of 200 baht per gram in 10 gram doses.
The suspect had twice used Facebook and a postal courier to market and distribute the harmless-yet-prohibited herb to clients in Bangkok and Lopburi province, but was unlucky before his third sale.
In related news, Thailand is in the process of revising its drug laws to allow patience of certain conditions access to some forms of processed medical cannabis.
Under the current proposed framework, cannabis would only be permitted to be produced in some designated districts, through public-private partnerships and under strict production and distribution regulations overseen by the Food and Drug Administration, drug enforcement authorities, as well as licensed pharmaceutical and (western) medical practitioners. There is a push by traditional practitioners to also be able to prescribe according to traditional formulas and applications, but exact rules had yet to be confirmed at time of press.
If all goes to the current plan (expectations) patients may be able to get prescriptions for certain forms of processed cannabis medicines as soon as April, 2019. These forms will mostly likely be oils, tinctures , sprays and creams containing formulas rich in the non-psychoactive compound, CBD.
The current law prohibits cannabis with more than 1% THC content dry weight. None of the other cannabanoids found in the plant are (yet) mentioned in the law.
It remains to be seen how / if Thai authorities permit and regulate THC and other beneficial compounds of the plant.