Thailand opened its first full-time clinic to provide cannabis-based medicine Jan. 6, according to The New York Times.
The country legalized medical cannabis in 2018, and has been slowly moving toward developing a regulated industry. In September, the government removed low-THC cannabis and hemp extracts (containing 0.2% THC or less) from its list of scheduled narcotics, and hospital and research facilities are permitted to produce these extracts.
The health ministry’s Government Pharmaceutical Organisation is currently the largest producer of cannabis in the country, The New York Times reported, and the government is reviewing regulations that will allow private Thai businesses to apply for licenses.
About 25 cannabis clinics already exist in Thailand, attached to general hospitals around the country, The New York Times reported, but they operate just a few days per week due to limited staff.
Patients will receive free treatment at the new full-time clinic for the first two weeks, according to the news outlet, and the clinic expects to see 300 to 400 patients daily.
“This is a pilot clinic, because we cannot produce enough doctors with expertise in cannabis,” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at the opening ceremony in Bangkok.