Asia

Thai hemp association signs pact with 12 mainstream industries

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The Thai Industrial Hemp Trade Association (TIHTA) said it has signed a cooperation agreement with 12 manufacturing industries to advance innovations and technology for the hemp industry.

The agreement is aimed at advancing product research and development, knowledge exchange, production standards, planning, and price management, according to TIHTA President Pornchai Patthaminthara.

Aviation to animal feed

Signatories to the agreement represent the automotive, aviation, food & drinks, nutritional supplements, medicine, spa, herbs, cosmetics, and textiles sectors as well as the wellness tourism, furniture and animal feed industries.

The initiative includes cooperation on the Asia International Hemp Expo planned Nov. 30-Dec. 3, which aims to underscore Thailand’s potential in the hemp and cannabis industries, and showcase cultivation technology and innovations.

While Thailand’s laws allow private individuals to grow hemp, commercial producers must apply for permits and are under rules for investment, sales and imports that are highly restrictive. Only Thai interests may establish operations, with foreign interests blocked from direct participation in approved cannabis businesses.

Recent changes

More than 120,000 individuals have registered to cultivate hemp and marijuana in Thailand after new rules for cannabis went into effect last month. The rules allow private growing through a simple online registration platform hosted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Private growers must only register their intentions, and need not seek further permission. Hemp and marijuana may be grown privately for health aids and traditional medicines, and hemp for industrial applications.

Despite the restrictions on commercial operations, several companies have announced plans to develop CBD businesses after hemp and marijuana were removed from the country’s list of dangerous drugs under the changes that took effect last month.

1.0% THC limit

Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalize all forms of cannabis, and one of only a handful of nations that have set the THC level for hemp “on the field” at a full 1.0% by dry weight. Most countries observe 0.3% THC as the delineation between high-THC marijuana plants and industrial hemp.

Thai hemp strains are considered to have high fiber quality while levels of THC and CBD are low. Yet research on local varieties is scant, and needs to be expanded, the government has said.

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