BBC: Thailand: Southeast Asia’s ‘weed wonderland’

The BBC Reports

A new symbol has appeared in the kaleidoscopic jumble of neon signs that light up Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok’s most international street. The sudden ubiquity of the five-pointed marijuana leaf, in lurid green, announces the spectacular boom there has been in weed-related businesses in Thailand since cannabis was decriminalised last June.

Walk two kilometres east of the BBC office in Bangkok, and you pass more than 40 dispensaries, selling potent marijuana flower buds and all the paraphernalia needed to smoke them.

Travel in the opposite direction, to the famous backpacker hangout of Khao San Road, and there is an entire marijuana-themed shopping mall, Plantopia, its shops half-hidden behind the haze of smoke created by customers trying out the product. The website Weed in Thailand lists more than 4,000 businesses across the country selling cannabis and its derivatives.

And this is Thailand, where until last June you could be jailed for five years just for possessing marijuana, up to 15 years for producing it; where other drug offences get the death penalty. The pace of change has been breathtaking.

“It is messy, but then this is Thailand, and without this sudden liberalisation I don’t think it would have happened at all,” says Kitty Chopaka, founder of Elevated Estate, a company that offers advice on the marijuana industry, and has been a part of the parliamentary committee trying to get the new regulations passed.

But this is not the kind of liberalisation long-term campaigners like her dreamed of.

“We need regulation. Spelling out what you can and cannot do,” Ms Chopaka says. “It is causing a lot of confusion, a lot of people not knowing what they can do, what they can put money behind.”


Cannaffex offers Premium CBD products sourced organically from farms in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. All products we offer are THC-FREE and contain only organic hemp...

 CBD / Featured

The Friendliest Headshop on the Planet! A leading provider of the coolest, best bongs, pipes, vapes and paraphernalia. Water Pipes Hand Pipes Vaporizers Parts and...

 Vapes and Carts / Featured

Certified organic CBD oil, multivitamins, vegan skin care and premium supplements for beauty and wellbeing. for the Ageless is a UK store specialising in CBD...

 CBD / Featured

Cannvalate is a group of medical doctors and leaders in the medical cannabis industry. Based in Melbourne, we love to help patients to access products...

 Medical Cannabis / Featured

Page 1 of 4