BANGKOK — Thai officials are taking their first baby steps to open the market for marijuana amid intense interest from pot aficionados worldwide monitoring a country renowned for the potency of its locally grown weed.
Unwilling to allow the public to get baked or profit from recreational marijuana, the government this month has instead presented its first pharmaceutical THC and cannabidiol (CBD) oils, tablets, oral sprays, chocolate wafers and traditional potions after legalizing medical cannabis.
Although the government displays a deep ambivalence about loosening the legal reins on marijuana use, Thai researchers say they hope to draw on centuries-old folk recipes gathered from rural traditional healers, who have been discreetly treating villagers with illegal marijuana-infused concoctions for ages.
Some worry that the caution could hold back Thailand in a global market where it would seem to have a built-in edge. The Government Pharmaceutical Organization and a handful of other facilities are growing and