Whether for its white-sand beaches, spicy cuisine, or ancient temples, Thailand has long been a popular destination among international travelers. More recently, tourists have been flocking there for another reason: to enjoy cannabis.
Thailand became the first Asian country to decriminalize recreational cannabis in June 2022. While cannabis policies go largely unenforced, the growing retail market has generated an estimated $1.2 billion and is set to nearly triple in size within the next five years. Decriminalization has had a profound impact on the nation’s hospitality industry, with bars in every city hawking pre-rolled joints alongside buckets of mixed drinks, and restaurants serving cannabis-infused food and cocktails to guests looking for a different kind of buzz.
The change in policy has come at an important time for businesses struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, while creating a new opportunity for Thai people who for years have been keeping their appreciation for cannabis under wraps.
In Bangkok’s Chinatown district, Thai entrepreneurs Boss Asakon Singsikornkun and Jamiez Rayzoowaht Spaunpullsate are building a multi-floor cannabis complex where local and traveling cannabis lovers alike will be able to learn about the plant and enjoy a relaxing massage, a delicious meal, and some locally grown flower—all without having to leave the building.
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