Thailand is hoping to become the first country in Asia to legalize medical marijuana and tap into the burgeoning cannabis market, Agence France-Presse reports.
According to a Thai official, a draft bill now under consideration proposes allowing marijuana for medicinal purposes, a considerable change in a country with tough drug trafficking laws.
Jet Sirathraanon, the public health committee chair of Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly, emphasized that marijuana would be legal “for medication only, not for recreation.” But he added that legalizing the drug could be an economic boon and “an opportunity for Thai people.”
The global medical marijuana market could reach $55.8 billion by 2025, according to an analysis published last year by Grand View Research.
And Jet expects Thailand could capture a good share of the multi-billion dollar market with what he hailed as “the best marijuana in the world.” During the 1980s, Thailand was one of the world’s largest exporters of marijuana, Bloomberg reported.