Thai provincial hospitals will now be able to concoct traditional medicines using cannabis, according to a statement by the Thai Department of Traditional and Alternative Medicine.
The department has authorized hospitals, formerly known as suk sala clinics, to produce traditional medicines from 16 legal recipes that include cannabis as a base ingredient, said Marut Jira Setthasiri, the department’s director-general. Hospitals will need to have an expert in traditional Thai medicine to prepare their medicines.
Dr. Marut said hospitals would be free to produce medicines that they believe can provide potent effects for some common diseases in localities.
Thailand legalized medical cannabis in 2018. Since then, 291 units have been set up at government-run medical points throughout the country to distribute cannabis-based medicines, and more than 60,000 treatment cycles have been provided to patients this year. Dr. Marut said demand for cannabis-based medications continued to increase, prompting the department to authorize 152 hospitals to raise their cannabis supplies to provide 15,000 additional patients. Four pilot hospitals, Klong Muang in Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Pin in Udon Thani, Ban Nayor Nua in Sakon Nakhon, and Ban Na Pakora in Phatthalung, grow their cannabis.
The Ministry of Public Health also grows cannabis in tightly controlled environments in Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Pathum Thani, Sakon Nakhon, and Nakhon Ratchasima.