Published On: Fri, Oct 20th, 2017

Thai Cabinet approves hemp farming in Thailand in Secret. A crop worth its weight

Thai Cabinet approves hemp farming in Thailand in Secret.


The Thai cabinet agreed to promote the
growing of hemp as a new economic plant for Thailand.

Another country takes a positive step forward in creating new rural jobs utilizing the amazing hemp plant. It’s a non-drug crop yet the US government still bans it’s growing in America. How many more years before the US government jumps on the hemp bandwagon?

The cabinet agreed to set up a committee to promote growing of hemp as a new economic plant on high land, as proposed by the National Economic and Social Development Board, deputy government spokesman Vachara Kannikar said.

Mr Vachara said the NESDB submitted a proposal for planting and growing hemp on high land from 2009-2013 to the cabinet. The plant was already being grown by various royal projects aimed at generating supplementary income for farmers.

The NESDB had concluded that hemp can be used to produce textiles, food, furniture, health products, and cosmetics.

However, there were limitations on growing hemp since it is categorized as a No 5 narcotic plant in the form of marijuana.

Therefore, farmers have to grow it secretly, despite the fact that hemp is an economic plant.

Hemp car

It’s good to know that Hemp farming is now legalized in some countries and now in Thailand. Hemp is not really marijuana. A plant cultivated for marijuana has a 3 to 15 percent THC content or more, while industrial hemp generally contains one percent or less. And even studies show that it is the most nutritionally complete food source in the world. I think there’s no reason why we shouldn’t grow hemp.

I don’t believe that Hemp has the same composition as marijuana. I’ve been researching about hemp and I know for a fact that hemp contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. If one were to roll leaves from an industrial hemp plant into a cigarette and smoke them, no euphoric effects would be experienced even if a thousand hemp cigarettes were smoked. So I’m glad that Hemp farming is now being legalized.

Extra foot note…

Why does hemp matter for Thailand? First off, it must be said that hemp is different than marijuana. Though from the same plant family, one has THC and can get you stoned, the other does not. Many countries allow their farmers to grow hemp, including Canada, China and most of Europe. It’s smart, because hemp has practical uses, including fabrics, furniture, building materials, paper and rope.

Hemp seed has complete proteins with 10 amino acids, omega-3, -6 and -9 essential fatty acids, Vitamin E and iron. What does rice have, besides starch?

Hemp is also easier to grow than rice, needs less water and can thrive on poor soils. Its by-products can be used for fuel, compost or mulch. Why are Thai farmers kept from growing hemp? One reason: because the US government mandates that its century-old law on the matter must apply to Thailand. But wait – even the US government is waxing sensible about the archaic law. A few days ago, the US House of Representatives voted for the first time in 50 years on hemp, and decided, by 225 to 200, to allow Americans to farm it. So, if Thai politicians keep insisting on following US laws, then they can adjust to the sanity of these new developments. In other words, Thai farmers can join farmers around the world who are reaping benefits from growing this great crop.

On the other hand, Thai legislators can stick with their typical lazy, uninformed policy, and simply do nothing, as they did with the Nasa request, and the option to host World Expo 2020. Indeed, Thai politicians can file hemp files within the same unused filing cabinet that they’ve filed environmental concerns, libraries, concern for hill tribes, alternative energy and encouraging innovative thinking in schools.

Ken Albertsen

Chiang Rai

About the Author

  • Shakib

    So where can I find hemp textiles in Thailand?

    • Erwin Alber

      Where can I find hemp SEED in Thailand?

  • Gary Nelson Harper

    Thank You Ken and Erwin. This is a good example of people realizing the benefits of hemp. Fiber entwined with silk and a proprietary process that yields material sold under the name of “Cocona”, would be an amazing material that would be right at home in the LOS.

    • Normand Duchaine

      Lets not forget about Hempcrete for building houses that are 5 times lighter and 10 times stronger than cement, and insulates you from heat and cold, and also remains a breathable material. Wish I could build my house with Hempcrete here in Thailand.

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