By The Nation
Deputy PM and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday (September 13) during his visit to the Khumuang Hospital in Buri Ram province, that the Ministry has ordered Public Health offices in four provinces – Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram and Surin to actively promote the use of cannabis extract for medical benefits in the Northeastern region.
“As one of the prioritised policies of the Public Health Ministry, we appointed Buri Ram as a central ground for development and promotion of medical cannabis,” he said. “Khumuang Hospital will join hands with Pela Plern Herbal Development Centre, a private enterprise, in growing cannabis seeds from Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital in Bangkok.”
The Deputy PM said cannabis plants grown at Pela Plern will be harvested and delivered to Khumuang Hospital’s production facilities, which are capable of making cannabis-based drugs in the approaches of both modern and traditional medicines. They will be marketed under the brand name “Khumuang Hospital Medical Cannabis”.
“We call the whole operation “the Buri Ram Model”, which will serve as a prototype for future medical marijuana communities,” said Anutin.
According to the Public Health Minister, Pela Plern Herbal Development Centre has the highest readiness for cannabis-based drugs production in Buri Ram in terms of location, facilities, technology and workers.
“The first lot of cannabis seeds was planted back on August 22, in a closed plantation with controlled temperature, humidity and watering systems,” he said. The operation was closely monitored and supervised by several partners, including Food and Drug Administration, Provincial Public Health Office, Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, Rangsit University and Khumuang Hospital.
As of April 2019, Buri Ram had the highest number of registered cannabis owners in Thailand at 1,411 people or 29.89 per cent of the total registered owners.