The first full-time clinic to offer traditional and clinical cannabis-based medicine in Thailand has opened its doors.
The Bangkok-based clinic will operate day-after-day, unlike the city’s other clinics that only operate a few days a week because of a lack of specialist staff, the Bangkok Post reports.
Cannabis has been used to relieve pain and fatigue in the Asian nation throughout history, but Thailand legalised marijuana for medical use and research in 2017 to boost agricultural income.
Most Asian nations have strict drug laws, but there are signs attitudes towards medical cannabis are softening – opening up investment opportunities in the region.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirankul said: “This is a pilot clinic, because we cannot produce enough doctors with expertise in cannabis.
“We are fighting for the better health of Thai people and fighting for a better economy.”
He added that patients will receive treatment free of charge for the first two weeks.
In July 2019 Thailand’s government announced it is prioritising the development of a medical cannabis industry.
The coalition government, elected in March and headed by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, released a policy document outlining a focus on cannabis-based medicine.
It stated: “The study and technological development of marijuana, hemp, and other medicinal herbs should be sped up for the medical industry to create economic opportunity and income for the people.”
Recreational use and trade of marijuana is still illegal and could land anyone caught with the drug up to 10 years in prison.