FDA’s ‘Plookganja’ app crashes after being hit by 9 million requests

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022

The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s “Plookganja” app crashed on Thursday after receiving more than 9 million applications from people wanting to grow marijuana and hemp.

The two plants were officially removed from the list of Category 5 Narcotics on June 9 (Thursday), allowing individuals and businesses to cultivate them for food and medicinal purposes.

Before planting the herbs, individuals need to register via the Plookganja app or the http://plookganja.fda.moph.go.th website and get a digital certificate. Applicants need to provide information on the number of plants they intend to grow and explain why.

“The app and website crashed by 4pm after receiving 9,023,194 applications,” Panthep Phuaphongphan, spokesman for Public Health Ministry’s committee on communication and public relation for marijuana usage, said on Thursday.

“The FDA is working to improve the application and website to accommodate more applicants,” he said. “While the app and website are down, we will process the applications submitted so far.”

He added that the FDA had issued 152,700 digital certificates, most of whom (120,837) had applied to grow marijuana and the rest hemp.

This registration process has been set up so the FDA can record the number of marijuana and hemp plants growing nationwide, which will serve as a database for businesses wishing to manufacture cannabis-based products. This is in line with the Public Health Ministry’s aim to make marijuana and hemp new cash crops.