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Marijuana & Cannais Clinics in Thailand
Monday 11th May 2019 marked the opening of Thailand’s first two full-time clinics dispensing cannabis oil for medical treatment. The step reflects the government’s intent to promote licensed use of marijuana products to relieve the symptoms of a range of ailments.
A cannabis flagship clinic under the management of Public Health Management handed over free cannabis oil to almost 400 patients in a suburb of Bangkok.
Eyeing the economic potential of cannabis, Thailand’s old harsh anti-drug laws are given way to new laws that permit to consume cannabis to treat medical conditions.
The Thai government seems all set to realize the economic potential of the cannabis. According to one estimate, Asia’s medical cannabis market is going to swell to US $5.8 billion by 2024.
These two full-time clinics are on the top of around 25 clinics already operating on part-time basis since the approval of new law that allows to use and production of medical cannabis.
As a part of the planned nationwide network of marijuana clinics, two more clinics would start working if the results are promising. With more clinics in greater Bangkok, the government has promised it would allow patients to make appointments using a specialized smartphone app. The policy of marijuana liberalization is likely to benefit all those who before were using expensive illegal marijuana from underground suppliers.
Legalization has made it possible for patients with different health conditions to get easy access to medical marijuana through cannabis clinics. By lessening their symptoms, medical marijuana can play an important role in improving their quality of life.
Approved medical conditions
With governments plans to strongly regulate cannabis consumption and promote licensed marijuana, it has stipulated a formal procedure that enables patients to access medical marijuana. First, it is important to know that there are certain conditions for which patients can seek medical marijuana. Following is the list of approved medical conditions for which patients can get medical marijuana.
- Addiction withdrawal symptoms
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Bone fractures
- Cerebral palsy (children)
- Cirrhosis of liver
- Crohn’s disease
- Demyelinating disease
- Hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Menstrual cramp
- Opiate addiction
- Parkinson’s disease
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Reaction stress
- Tourette’s syndrome
Prescription of medical cannabis
Since medical marijuana’s legalization, the Thai government is collaborating with the ministry of health to ensure that all the distribution of the drug goes through the licensed hospitals and cannabis clinics.
By promoting medical marijuana to help address several health ailments, the government also seems concerned about the potential abuse of the drug. The restricted liberalization policy of the Thai government is based on the conviction that the drug should only be used to seek relief, not pleasure. Particularly, the population under the age of 18, who are the most vulnerable age group to potentially abuse the drug.
As a part of the drug control to prevent its potential abuse, the government specified that patients could get and carry on person medical marijuana only on the prescription of a medical practitioner.
Any consumption in violation of national laws carries both jail as well as financial penalties. So, it is important to get a prescription from a registered medical practitioner before making the consumption of the drug.
Approved medical clinics in Thailand
Since the country rolled out its first legislation to legalize medical marijuana in 2018, Thai hospitals and universities are collaborating to produce FDA approved medical cannabis products. Such products can be obtained both from government hospitals and registered clinics.
Following this policy, first 10,000 medical cannabis oil bottles are distributed in August 2019 among patients with a prescription from a registered medical practitioner. The nations heavily regulated medical cannabis law is very tough on improper or recreational use of cannabis stipulating a jail penalty for up to five years.
Reports have emerged suggesting some clinics are involved in selling CBD to people looking for THC. These clinics claim to prescribe and distribute THC infused medical marijuana. Contrary to their claims, their products are hemp-derived CBD oil that contains just traces of THC.
THC and CBD are the two most commonly known compounds of the cannabis plant. Both are used for treating varying medical conditions and they leave a different impact on mind and body. Unlike CBD, THC is a psychoactive compound that creates feelings of high sensation.
Due to harsh laws governing medical marijuana, experts advise people to make consumption of both cannabinoids with caution. Patients should only use and possess two substances when they have a valid medical prescription from a doctor who is fully licensed by the FDA.
With any violation, patients may run a high risk of prison confinement or a hefty fine.
With appropriate prescriptions, people with medical conditions can get their dose of medical cannabis from following Bangkok marijuana clinics.
- Bangkok Integrative Medicine (BIM Poly Clinic), Si Lom, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Tel: 081-183-4892
- Sawasdee Clinic, 40/4 Phahon Yothin 63 Alley, Anusawari, Bang Khen, Bangkok 10220, Tel: 093-438-1515
For people living outside of Bangkok, they can reach following Medical Cannabis Clinics to meet their medical cannabis needs
- Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Cannabis Clinic, Village No. 12 32/7 Prachin Anuson, Tha Ngam, Mueang Prachinburi District, Prachin Buri 25000, Tel: 037-211-088
- Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Cannabis Clinic, 49 Changphuak Rd, Nai Mueang, Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Tel: 044-235-000
- Origene Clinic Pattaya, 8/114 Moo 6 Sukhumvit Rd, Muang Pattaya, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150, Tel: 065-998-9449
Approved hospitals that can prescribe medical cannabis
FDA has authorized all hospital operating under the cover of Public Health Ministry to prescribe medical cannabis to people with approved medical conditions.
The larger demand currently overwhelming the medical marijuana supply coming from Government Pharmaceutical Organizations, partner hospitals, and universities. With improved supply in the coming days, it is expected that more clinics and hospitals would start prescribing medical cannabis.
At the moment, following state-run hospitals can prescribe medical cannabis oil.
- Buddhachinaraj Hospital, 90 Sritham Tripitaka Road, Mueang District, Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok 65000, Tel: 055-270-300
- Buriram Hospital, 1 Road Railway Station, Muang District, Buri Ram31000, Tel: 044-615-002
- Hat Yai Hospital, 182 Ratthakan, Hat Yai District, Songkhla90110, Tel: 074-273-100
- Khon Kaen Hospital, 54 Sri Chant Rd, Khon Kaen40000, Tel: 043-009-900
- Lampang Hospital, 280 Phahonyothin Rd, Hua Wiang, Mueang Lampang District, Lampang52000, Tel: 054-237-400
- Saraburi Hospital, 18 Thetsaban 4 Rd, Pak Phriao, Mueang Saraburi District, Saraburi18000, Tel: 036-343-500
- Sawanpracharak Hospital, Pak Nam Pho Subdistrict, Mueang Nakhon Sawan District, Nakhon Sawan60000, Tel: 056-219-888
- Sunpasithiprasong Hospital, 122 Rd Sappasit, Nai Mueang, Mueang Ubon Ratchathani District, Ubon Ratchathani34000, Tel: 045-319-200
- Surat Thani Hospital, 56 Si Wichai Road, Tambon Makham Tia, Mueang Surat Thani District, Surat Thani84000, Tel: 077-915-600
- Ratchaburi Hospital, 85 Somboon Kun, Na Muang, Mueang Ratchaburi, Ratchaburi70000, Tel: 032-719-600
- Rayong Hospital, 138 Sukhumvit Rd, Tha Pradu Subdistrict,Mueang Rayong District, Rayong 21000, Tel: 038-611-104
- Udon Thani Hospital, Pho Niyom Rd, Tambon Ban Lueam, Mueang Udon Thani District, Udon Thani41000, Tel: 042-245-555
Possession of marijuana
Last year, Food and Drug Administration rolled out an amnesty program allowing people – Thais and expats alike – to legalize their stash provided they have an approved use for it. Under the new law, people using medical cannabis for approved uses can legalize it by producing a medical certificate verifying their eligible condition from a certified doctor, dentist, or Thai traditional medicine practitioner.
Following a formal procedure, they can get registered with the FDA. According to the law, both nationals and foreigners need to prepare their documents that include the following.
- Identification documents (ID card or passport)
- Medical certificates
- Duly filled application form
Your Cannabis stock
Applicants must bring marijuana they have been using along with their application. If the stock is too large to move, then you need to bring its photos, and FDA will send their inspector at a pre-decided date to examine your stock.
Under the amnesty law, patients are allowed to keep the stock which deemed sufficient for 90 days of consumption.
If anyone is unable to come in person can authorize a representative on the form who can make the application and appear on the original applicant’s behalf.
Visit the Thai FDA office
With all the above-mentioned items, applicants need to visit the Food and Drug Administration’s central office in Bangkok. People living outside the capital can visit the provincial health office for the purpose.
Tourists entering the country must ensure can have medical marijuana in a form approved by the ministry of health. Ignoring the regulations might result in their stash is confiscated while entering the country.
Officials advise tourists to carry their medical prescription certificates with them to show to custom officers. Later, they are required to get it approved by the FDA to avoid persecution or get their seized stock back.
After duly filling a form declaring the amount of marijuana in their possession, the tourists can visit FDA or public health office. There they need to preset their passport along with air tickets as proof of traveling, copy of their medical prescription and prescribing doctor’s license.
To the hassle of tourists, none of these forms are in English. However, foreigners can get information from two dedicated medical cannabis phone lines.
The visitors can get information in English by dialing 1556, Ext. 3 from an FDA operated helpline. Another run by the Narcotics Control Board can be reached at 1386, Ext. 3 during regular government office working hours.