Thailand

Panel wants 20 rai to commercialise hemp

Panel wants 20 rai to commercialise hemp

Hemp is grown in a demonstration field at Pangda agricultural station in Samoeng district, Chiang Mai province, on Jan 21. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
Hemp is grown in a demonstration field at Pangda agricultural station in Samoeng district, Chiang Mai province, on Jan 21. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

A House subcommittee on kanchong, or hemp, is moving forward with its proposal to allocate 20 rai of land to farmers nationwide to commercialise the plants.

The kingdom is planning to make kanchong a cash crop after initial studies last year by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) and related agencies showed hemp has medical potential.

The government has so far allowed the planting of one rai of kanchong and restricted usage to its fibre, the House subcommittee said, adding if the kingdom doesn’t expand operations, it could miss out on medical and economic opportunities.

“The fibre, seeds and flowers should be used for commercial purposes,” Palang Pracharath MP for Sukhothai Phansiri Kunlanatsir and chair of the subcommittee.

Ms Palang said hemp is currently categorised as a “Class 5” narcotic and the authorities must amend a ministerial law on the production and possession of drugs to commercialise its cultivation, she said.

Ms Palang also said the government should relax procedures and enable farmers to plant the crop, noting approval to plant kanchong for farmers currently takes up to six months to process.

She said cannabidiol is present in kanchong and the substance could make hemp a major economic crop.

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