Thailand stormed onto the scene as the cannabis capital of Asia on Thursday, June 9 as cannabis became legal. 

The occasion marked 120 days since Thai lawmakers moved to remove cannabis and hemp from the country’s list of controlled substances. You can now possess cannabis without fear of arrest. 

While the move will undoubtedly prove a coup for the nation’s many recreational smokers, the government originally took action in hopes of pushing the Thai Medical Cannabis industry to the heights it deserves. While you can still technically get in trouble for smoking recreationally, it’s fair o presume there will be a lot of insomnia notes from doctors. 

In the West, much of this luster came from the famed Thai Stick. Cured buds would be wrapped around a bamboo skewer, then wrapped in fan leaves, and finally wrapped with hemp string. While they came in varying degrees of quality, they were basically the original preroll in the early 1970s and kicked off America’s fascination with weed in Thailand post-Vietnam after veterans brought home the heat.  

But what has happened in the last few years has been a barn burner. Over Christmas in 2018 the Thai government unanimously voted in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. Lawmakers even called it a New Year’s gift for the Thai people. 

While Thailand was always a pinch friendlier about cannabis than its Southeast Asia neighbors, you could still end up in jail after 2018 for recreational use. Now, officials just don’t want you to bother anyone with smoke and you could technically still get in trouble for recreational use, but they plan to start handing out 1 million plants to people on Friday. The signals feel a little mixed. 

Now that part sounds dope. But hopefully, the genetics were vetted and they’re not just handing out 1 million plants of boof. That being said, I love where their hearts are at and hope it’s all heat. 

Sales also commenced on Thursday. People had 120 days to get their ducks in a row for the big day. According to NPR, the Highland Cafe has Sugarcane, Bubblegum, Purple Afghani and UFO. The Thais there to celebrate with a purchase on day one were thankful to be able to come out of the shadows, but you could end up on a hangman’s noose somewhere else in Southeast Asia. 

Tom Kruesopon has been one of the driving forces of recent progress in Thailand. Known as “Mr. Weed” in Thailand, he’s also the CEO of Thailand’s Original Marijuana Company. 

“I was the person who introduced this policy of legalization to the Bhumjaithai party as our platform,” Kruesopon told L.A. Weekly as he enjoyed the first moments of legalization after years of effort. “June 9, 2022 was a historic day in the kingdom of Thailand and for all who love freedom and the taste of a great bud. The air was full with the smell of happiness and the atmosphere was euphoric. Thailand has become the first country in the world to decriminalize the marijuana plant and is now truly the Land of Smiles.”

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