Thailand on Monday opened its first full-time clinic specializing in traditional and alternative cannabis-based medicine as part of a government initiative to develop the medicinal cannabis industry.

This is a pilot clinic because we cannot produce enough doctors specializing in cannabis,” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters at the opening ceremony in Bangkok. Patients will receive free treatment for the first two weeks, he added.

Thailand, which has a tradition of using cannabis to relieve pain and fatigue, has legalized marijuana for medical and research purposes in 2017 to increase farm income.

Medical cannabis

There are already about 25 cannabis clinics attached to general hospitals throughout the country, but unlike the recently launched pilot clinic, they operate only a few days a week due to a lack of specialized staff.

In fact , the largest producer of medicinal cannabis is currently the Government Pharmaceutical Organization of the Ministry of Health.

The director of medical cannabis research at Kasetsart University, Natakorn Thasnas, also said that the university would supply 2,200 kilograms of cannabis herb to the ministry.

The production, cultivation, and sale of cannabis limited to licensed Thai producers for the next four years in order to protect the domestic industry. Currently, only hospitals and research facilities are allowed to apply for licenses to produce and extract cannabis, but the Government is reviewing the regulations to allow Thai companies to apply for licenses.

Last year, Thailand removed cannabis and hemp extracts from its list of narcotic drugs and proposed a bill that would allow every household to grow 6 cannabis plants.

4 types of drugs, containing different combinations of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, been given to patients . In order to treat migraines, insomnia, neck pain, and muscle stiffness, the ministry said in a statement.

Therefore, the pilot clinic, based at the Ministry of Public Health. Expects to see between 200 and 300 patients a day.

I was worried at first. But I studied the effects and decided it was better because it’s natural. Said Waraporn Boonsri, 69, who received 4 bottles of cannabis oil to help him sleep.

Nearly 2,200 patients had registered at the clinic next March, a health official told Reuters. Anutin said there were plans to open 77 clinics across the country, with one in each province.

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