When it comes to cannabis reform, one of the toughest places to be is on the Asia continent. Whereas cannabis reform has spread across almost every other continent, Asia is still largely stuck on the wrong side of history.
One country, Thailand, is looking to make a major play in the cannabis industry, as proven by recent news that Thailand is expected to allow private sector cannabis production, as well as foreign investment. Per Khaosod English:
Reopening its cannabis regulatory platform after months of disruption caused by the coronavirus, the Food and Drug Administration has prepared a draft bill to abolish a 5-year ban on the private sector making cannabis medicine.
Two draft ministerial regulations, one on marijuana and the other on hemp, under scrutiny since the end of last year and January respectively by the Council of State—the government’s legal arm—are also inching ahead following the easing of the lockdown.
Under these three pieces of legislation and regulations, foreigners will be allowed to get involved as long as they hold shares not exceeding one-third in a company incorporated under local law.
These are sensible pieces of legislation that should be adopted by the Thailand government. Right now there is no private-sector cannabis production allowed, and that is not only limiting for local economies, but also for patients that do not have as robust of a selection of medicine as reasonably possible.
Allowing foreign investment is always a slippery slope, in that in some instances it crushes opportunities for local investors and entrepreneurs. Placing a cap on ownership percentage is a good move in order to increase opportunities for foreign investors while balancing it with the need to protect opportunities for local entrepreneurs.