11 July 2024

Cannabis has suddenly become a fad among many Thai eateries, which are openly offering food and drinks containing cannabis after the plant, as well as hemp, were removed from the illegal narcotics yesterday (Thursday).

Numerous shops are selling cannabis and smoking accessories, with the plants, which used to be grown secretly in the back gardens, now being cultivated and sold openly.

A Nonthaburi food shop, which is in a converted cargo container, now offers hamburger with cannabis cheese and fried chicken topped with fried shredded cannabis leaves. The owner said that leaves are also used in the chicken marinade, as seasoning.

A housewife in the north-eastern province of Buri Ram told Thai PBS that she secretly planted cannabis in her back garden and uses the leaves in food or boiled as a drink to help her sleep well. She has now asked her children to move the cannabis pots to the front of her house, because she does not need to hide them anymore.

A member of a community-based enterprise in Ban Na Non, in the north-eastern province of Bueng Kan, said they have been growing and processing cannabis, with permission from the authorities, for some time, adding that they will now expand to include the sale of cannabis seedlings.

A shop in the Lat Phrao area of Bangkok, which has started selling recreational cannabis and smoking accessories, said that his stock ran out in just a few hours yesterday, with several customers, queueing in front of the shop from early morning. He said his shop used to sell food and drinks containing cannabis, but started selling dried cannabis, priced at 450-700 baht/gram, as well.

He claims that he checks ID cards of any customers who look young, to make sure that they are 20 or over, adding that he won’t allow smoking of cannabis on his premises.

A co-partner in the shop said that some customers come with their parents who advise them how to use the drug properly and an employee at the shop admitted to using cannabis occasionally, but secretly, adding that he no longer has to hide.

The sale of cannabis or hemp to people under 20, pregnant women, breast-feeding women and certain groups of people, specified by the Public Health Ministry, is still prohibited.

More than 120,000 people registered to grow mostly cannabis yesterday, via the Thai Food and Drug Administration’s website and application.