Why Local Growers Are The Way Forward For Thai Cannabis

2022 has been a great year for the cannabis industry in Thailand.

The public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul declared that the Thai government was now happy for anyone to grow cannabis plants at home and for Thailand to become one of the largest medical cannabis markets in the world.

The Food and Drug Administration authority now provides commercial licenses for free to anyone eligible to grow on a commercial basis too.

However, that also means there’s no blueprint for the cannabis market here and little has been done to ensure that this cash crop (whether or not recreational cannabis remains legal) is as good for Thailand and the planet as it could be.

Warning Signs From America

In 2012, long before legal cannabis was as widespread in the USA as it is now, a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures came to a shocking conclusion.

1% of all the electricity used in the United States is due to cannabis production!

This is because cannabis is grown to maximize its value for cannabis products.

In particular, a huge amount of emphasis is placed on the yield of each plant and thus, it’s grown in massive greenhouses with highly sophisticated controls placed on the environment to boost that yield.

Now, in Thailand currently, much of the cannabis plant crop is being grown in the same way that you might grow cannabis at home. After all, without the legalization of cannabis, it’s been impossible to set up huge indoor growing operations in Thailand.

But on June 9, 2022, things changed as cannabis growing became legal and it’s entirely possible that the same approach to growing plants is going to arrive here too.

Researchers at Colorado State University explained to Slate that this could be terrible news for the environment particularly because many growers pump carbon dioxide into indoor growing facilities to aid plant growth, which then leaks out again.

And then there are the transport miles associated with medical marijuana.

If you grow your marijuana in a few large silos designed to maximize yield, that weed then needs transporting across the country to be sold and distributed.

Bangkok and Chiang Mai are going to be the big market places for the drug but is it possible that the industry will opt for remote locations (where costs are low and yields are high) to grow Thailand’s plants?

Local Strategies Must Emerge

Before they move forward, the Thai government might want to think about ensuring that the farmers that farm hemp and marijuana for Thailand’s new cannabis scene ought to be as local to their customers as possible.

This will minimize the use of eco-unfriendly cultivation techniques and ensure that the cannabis sold in the Thai market uses a minimal amount of carbon dioxide, electricity, and water.

This will also be popular with investors as it will raise the ESG scores of cannabis growers in Thailand.

Not only will this be good for the environment but it would position Thai cannabis to be the world leader in sustainable marijuana.

Given the growing market for green products globally, this could be a critical competitive edge for Asia’s first nation to legalize weed.

Final Thoughts

Local growers can help to cultivate a community around cannabis that respects the environment and still provides customers with top-quality products.

The future of weed in Thailand can be truly green if it wants to be.

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