Thailand: Government's cannabis reform may be under threat
Despite the enthusiasm of the cannabis community, the reform adopted a year ago in Thailand, which actually legalized cannabis, eliminating penalties for the cultivation and sale of technical cannabis plants, is on the verge of possible collapse. The status of the reform itself has not yet been approved by the country's parliament, where a coalition of opposition parties continues to actively resist the government's initiative. Police representatives are increasingly paying attention to the growth of unregulated cannabis business, including those engaged in non-certified trade in THC containing cannabis. Doctors and social activists worry that the lack of formal regulations on the market will jeopardize the health and future of children. Finally, market participants themselves pay attention to the fact that in just a year of the reform, the profitability of the "legal" cannabis business has fallen significantly, due to competition with underground dealers associated with new organized criminal cartels. In other words, it seems that due to a number of shortcomings, the reform has brought more problems than benefits for the country. Will she be able to survive the next vote on her confirmation in parliament, which is due to take place on May 14?
Recall that formally, the project of legalizing cannabis in Thailand was approved by the current government of the country, associated with the military, at the beginning of last summer. The initiative with the proposal to actually legalize the local cultivation of non-psychoactive cannabis plants was proposed to the authorities by the country's Minister of Health, Anutin Charnvirakul. Since then, the government has allowed the legal cannabis market to develop independently, without much intervention and the introduction of formal regulations, which quickly led to the emergence of a mass of informal establishments, including those selling goods with a high concentration of THC. By the beginning of this year, the market, despite its unofficial status, managed to take shape sufficiently, with the manifestation of local and foreign brands, in addition to local and mobile enterprises.
Montana State Senat
The Montana State Senate voted decisively against a bill designed to re-criminalize the operation of the legal recreational cannabis market, which opened a year ago, by decision of a public referendum in 2020. This bill was presented to the Senate just a month ago, on behalf of Republican Senator Keith Rieger.
In support of the legalization of recreational cannabis in the state, more than 60% of the region's voters voted in 2020. As a result, starting in January 2021, the recreational cannabis market brought in a profit of almost $ 203 million. In addition, the state also has a medical market that has existed since 2004, which for the period 2022, brought a net profit of $ 93.6 million.