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Chiang Mai university becomes first Asean nation to grow own breed of cannabis

Sep 22. 2019
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By The Nation

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The Maejo University in Chiang Mai province has been successful in developing the first industrial grade Thai-breed medical cannabis, making Thailand the first country in Asean to develop its own breed of medical cannabis, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul said on Saturday (September 21).

Anutin made the revelation during his visit to the university’s Natural Agriculture Research and Development Centre.

“This project is a collaboration between Maejo University, the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation [GPO], and the Department of Medical Services since June,” he said. “We expect to deliver 2.4 tonnes of dried cannabis to the GPO to produce cannabis-based drugs by February next year.”

Anutin said Maejo University has been working on developing outdoor growing techniques using organic materials and pesticides that can be adapted to community enterprise operations in the future.

“We aim to perfect a technique where a household can grow six cannabis plants in their yard and use them safely for medical purpose,” he said.

“Maejo’s breed is strong and of high quality that contains both cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, two natural compounds that have medical benefits in the preferred quantity.”

Meanwhile, Prof Dr Anat Tancho, director of Natural Agriculture Research and Development Centre, revealed that Maejo University is an upstream manufacturer of medical cannabis that focuses on creating a suitable growing environment to improve the breeding and overall quality of medical cannabis.

“We follow the standards of IFOAM [International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements] and USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] organic standard,” he said. “Moreover, since marijuana is still a narcotic plant, we also strictly adhere to the GSP [Good Security Practices] to ensure full compliance with the law.”

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