Pot in every garden: Thailand takes steps to expand cannabis industry

BANGKOK — Thailand has inaugurated what is being billed as the biggest industrial-scale medical marijuana facility in Southeast Asia with 12,000 plants, and will soon allow anyone to grow six cannabis plants “in their back gardens like any other herb.”

Recreational use of marijuana in Thailand remains illegal, with punishments including imprisonment. But pot enthusiasts — domestic and foreign — hope the fading resistance to marijuana’s medical use will result in looser laws for public enjoyment and business profits.

Those changes appear to be gaining momentum.

Government officials last week attended a ceremony in Chiang Mai, a northern city where Maejo University researchers planted the 12,000 marijuana sprouts. The shoots are nurtured inside a newly built 32,722-square-foot greenhouse with controls for temperature, moisture and light. The government’s Department of Medical Services provided the seeds.

Officials expect the plants will produce medical-grade cannabis flowers and buds within six months.

Pot in every garden: Thailand takes steps to expand cannabis industry

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization hopes to use those ingredients to make 1 million bottles of cannabis oil, each containing 5 milliliters, by February.

“These are historic first steps on the path towards allowing people to grow six cannabis plants in you own Garden.