Thailand’s winning party, Move Forward, has suggested reclassifying marijuana as a narcotic, even though it was legalized only a year ago. This idea has sent shock waves across a sector expected to be worth $1.2 billion in the coming years.
Since the legalization of marijuana consumption and growth, a slew of new businesses have sprung up, with multiple outlets in prominent tourist destinations such as Bangkok catering to thrilled tourists and local smokers with their selection of cannabis goods. However, business owners are concerned about a potential rollback of the liberal market by a new government.
Interestingly, a party from the departing military-backed government initially championed the decriminalization of marijuana, primarily for medical purposes. However, the drug’s legal status has remained ambiguous. Despite promises of legislation to establish clear regulations, the bill failed to pass through parliament, creating a legal vacuum that allowed a flourishing recreational marijuana industry to take shape in a nation known for its tough stance on drugs.
The Pheu Thai is one of the opposition parties that Move Forward hopes to join in a coalition government. The latter had promised during its campaign to ban recreational marijuana, citing concerns about public health and youth abuse. In its recently published political agenda, Move Forward and its partners propose reclassifying cannabis as a regulated substance with new regulations that support its beneficial applications.
This proposal has sparked unease among procannabis advocates, particularly progressive young individuals who played a significant role in the parties’ electoral success. By March, approximately one million individuals had registered as cannabis growers, though it remains uncertain whether they are all actively cultivating the plant. The exact number of unregistered growers is also unknown.
In response to the probable regulatory escalation, 200 businesses and 5,200 people have signed an online petition against the categorization of marijuana as a narcotic, claiming that doing so would violate people’s rights. Move Forward seems to be treading carefully as it traverses a sector that is expected to be worth $1.2 billion by 2025.
Sirikanya Tansakun, a party official, defended the proposal to reschedule marijuana and emphasized the need to fill the legal gap. She reassured businesses that they would have backing as the party navigated the parliamentary process of enacting laws. Tansakun declared that unlicensed street vendors and the smuggling of illegal marijuana imports would be targeted and forbidden, notwithstanding the likelihood of a broad crackdown.
The rollercoaster that efforts to legalize marijuana in Thailand are being taken through is something that companies such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are unlikely to experience given that their focus is on coming up with marijuana-based formulations that meet the criteria of the FDA and other regulators in the different markets where those companies hope to sell their medicines. The path to gaining regulatory approval is clear.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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