The government of Thailand is all set to distribute 10,000 bottles of medical cannabis oil come August 7, said Withoon Danwiboon, the executive managing director of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), sad in a press release.
The Ministry of Public Health will procure 4500 (5 ml) vials of cannabis oil from the GPO and distribute them to hospitals for use by roughly 4,000 registered patients. The remaining 5,500 bottles will be stored and gradually delivered to hospitals as and when required.
The oil will be used to treat patients battling epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain and nausea brought about by chemotherapy.
Cannabis was legalized in Thailand for medicinal purposes and research only last year. The government wants to use the drug not only as a means to benefit patients, but also to provide new agricultural and economic opportunities to all its citizens. Traditionally, the South-East Asian country has a history of using cannabis to treat labor pains, fatigue, and relax muscles.
Thailand wants to develop a strong cannabis foundation and thus they have banned all kinds of foreign investments in the nation and the import of cannabis oil for the next 5 years. By 2020, the GPO plans to expand its operations with the aim of producing 200,000 vials of medicinal cannabis oil.
“We have to speed up the production process because there is an undersupply,” said Withoon.
With this piece of news, Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy PM and Public Health Minister of Thailand, also gave a reminder to the people that the drug is still prohibited for recreational use.